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2 weeks to the 6th Zurich Film Festival

The 6th Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) will open in two weeks time (taking place September 23 – October 3) with the world premiere screening of Michael Steiner’s mystery thriller “Sennentuntschi.” The public can expect a broad spectrum of film-related offerings, from the screening of films in the three Golden Eye competition sections to the much-loved red carpet gala evenings and many more screening series and fringe events.

As announced to the press in Zurich on Thursday by the Festival’s two directors, Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri, the ZFF will show a total of 70 films and numerous shorts as World, European or Swiss premieres. Many directors and actors have accepted the Festival’s invitation to show and personally attend the screening of their film in Zurich.

Director and actor Adrian Grenier (“Entourage”), pop idol Bob Geldof, cameraman Vilmos Zsigmond, and actress Nora Tschirner are among the many notable names who will attend the festival along with the guests whose presence has already been announced. These include Academy Award® winning filmmaker Milos Forman (a selection of whose films will be screened in the A Tribute To… series), Academy Award® winning director Oliver Stone (whose film “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” will close the Festival) and actors Danny DeVito, Frank Langella and Johanna Wokalek, to name a few.

The Festival’s programme focuses on new films by young talented individuals from around the world and more acutely on German-Language cinema.

The International Feature Film, German-Language Feature Film and International Documentary Film competitions form the heart of the festival and will show first, second or third works by young directors.

The three competitions will mirror all facets of today’s young cinematography: from the British debut “Third Star“ by Hattie Dalton to the French adolescence drama "Belle Epine" by Rebecca Zlotowski, from the low-budget film “Beijing Punk“ to “Bon Appetit,” a romantic Spanish film produced by four countries (one of them Switzerland).

New Swiss Films

With a record six world premieres and one co-production, Swiss cinematography is well represented at this year’s Zurich Film Festival. Three of the eight films in the German-Language Feature Film Competition are Swiss productions.

The episode film “180°”, Cihan Inan’s debut, is set in Zurich and skillfully combines the fate of several individuals. Mike Schaerer’s “Stationspiraten” is also a debut film and portrays how youths suffering from cancer learn to deal with their illness, and finally “Zu Zweit” by Barbara Kulcsar portrays how a young couple’s marriage is put through a tough test.

In addition to the Swiss opening film “Sennentuntschi”, Curt Truninger’s latest film “The Rendez-vous” will also see a special world-premiere screening. And finally the new Swiss film by Fabian Kimoto will run in the International Documentary Film Competition: “The Rising Sun” follows the multi-cultural Roc Kidz Crew break-dancing troupe.

Gala Screenings

A total of 19 feature films and documentary films will be shown in the Gala Evening series, including the Mexican film “Biutiful” with Javier Bardem by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the Danish milieu study “Submarino” by Thomas Vinterberg, the new Woody Allen film “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” the British comedy “Tamara Drewe“ by Stephen Frears, and the 3D documentary film from Australia “Cane Toads: The Conquest” by jury member Mark Lewis.

Australian film is also highlighted in the New World View series where the festival will present eight new feature films and documentary films from the fifth continent. The onedotzero section will present digitally created innovative short films, animations and music videos. The Swiss short films in the onedotzero_ch series will be shown in a separate competition.

Festival Centre

Managing Director Nadja Schildknecht is once again delighted with the trust that has been exhibited by the sponsors of this year’s festival. This year’s 4.1 million Swiss franc budget shows a slight increase on last year’s figure of 3.8 million, with 80% of this amount coming from sponsors. The federal government, the Canton of Zurich and the City of Zurich contribute only 7% of the total budget; the remainder must be covered by ticket revenue and sales.

Nadja Schildknecht also calls attention to the new Festival Centre housed in a large marquee at Hechtplatz, which will form the hub of the eleven-day festival.

The fifth Zurich Master Class will once again take place within the framework of the Zurich Film Festival and invites 25 film workers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to participate in discussions with such film industry greats as Milos Forman, Jeremy Thomas, Jessica Hausner, Vilmos Zsigmond and Adrian Grenier.

Entering its sixth year, the Zurich Film Festival has truly established itself as a marquee European Festival, discovering and promoting independent voices and talent from around the world and showcasing a diverse array of international films. ZFF continues to serve as the setting for many World and European premieres. This year’s Festival takes place September 23rd – October 3rd.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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