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Master Classes scheduled for the Zurich Film Festival

The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) today unveiled details of its 3rd Zurich Master Class, to take place during the 2008 Festival (September 25 – October 5).

The first group of lecturers for the highly regarded Zurich Master Class include such industry notables as acclaimed British director and writer Ken Loach (“Cathy Come Home,” “Just a Kiss”), winner of the 2006 Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or for “The Wind that Shakes the Barley”; Chinese composer and Oscar and Grammy winner Tan Dun (“Hero,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”); Norwegian director and writer Bent Hamer (“Factotum,” “O’Horten”); and German writer and director Andreas Dresen (“Halbe Treppe,” “Wolke 9”) as well as his producer Peter Rommel.

The esteemed group of filmmakers will share their knowledge with twenty-five young Swiss, Austrian and German filmmakers in several workshops during the 4th Zurich Film Festival. The Zurich Master Class, which is being organised in cooperation with the Swiss Television and the Canton of Zurich, will be presented by renowned British writer and film journalist Peter Cowie and Swiss film journalist and chief editor of “films and series” for Swiss Television, Michel Bodmer.

For the first time in the Festival’s history, several workshops from the Zurich Master Class series will be open to the public. Among them are:

September 28, 2008, 11am, Corso 2 – Public Master Class with Tan Dun
During the Sunday matinee on September 28 at the Cinema Corso 2, the audience will get the chance to meet Oscar and Grammy winner Tan Dun, learn more about his soundtrack compositions and ask him questions about his work.

October 5, 2008, 11am, Corso 2 – Public Master Class with Andreas Dresen & Peter Rommel
On October 5 at 11am, Andreas Dresen’s latest film “Wolke 9” will be presented at the Cinema Corso 2. Afterwards, Andreas Dresen and Peter Rommel will answer audience questions and talk about the creative partnership and the mutual trust between director and producer teams.

The exchange of experiences, inspiring encounters and the establishing of intensive and long-lasting contacts for young directors, writers and producers continue to mark the cornerstones of the Zurich Master Class. Along with the workshops, the 4th Zurich Film Festival presents competition screenings of exciting film discoveries from all over the world, followed by talks with the filmmakers and the audience. The main venue for the 3rd Zurich Master Class will be the Zunfthaus zur Saffran.

The Zurich Film Festival has already received numerous applications for the talent workshops and filmmakers have until August 31 to submit their applications. The twenty-five most convincing applicants will be selected to further their knowledge in workshops with famous and highly experienced filmmakers.

Further Zurich Master Class lecturers from the international jury, the A-Tribute-To, Golden Icon, New World View and Out of Competition series will be announced in the coming weeks.

About the Master Class lecturers:

Ken Loach
Born in 1936, British film director and scriptwriter Ken Loach is one of the most distinguished European filmmakers. The thematic emphasis of his work lies on social dramas, which reflects Loach’s own socialistic credos.

With the social TV-drama Cathy Come Home (1966) Loach attracted nationwide interest. During the Thatcher era in the seventies, the avowed Trotzkyist had to fight against screening bans and censorship.
In 2006, Loach’s film The Wind that Shakes the Barley, starring Cillian Murphy, won the Palme d’Or of the 59th Cannes Film Festival. Furthermore, he was awarded the Golden Lion for his lifework in 1994 at the Venice Film Festival and was honoured in 2004 with the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury for Just a Kiss at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Tan Dun
New York based Chinese composer and conductor Tan Dun combines in his compositions classical and modern elements and connects Asian and European styles of music. Born in 1957, he composes not only orchestra but also opera and soundtrack music. In 2000, Tan Dun was awarded with an Oscar and a Grammy for his soundtrack of Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, starring Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang. In 1996 he was chosen as composer of the year by the German magazine “Oper”.

Bent Hamer
Born in 1956, Norwegian director, writer and producer Bent Hamer was invited to Cannes with his very first film Eggs, where he could celebrate its premiere in 1995 in the Director’s Fortnight section. In 2003, his film Kitchen Stories was handed in as the Norwegian contribution to the Oscar’s Best Foreign Language category. In 2005, Hamer’s film adaptation of Charles Bukowski’s novel Factotum, starring Matt Dillon, was shown in movie theatres. O’Horten, Hamer’s latest work, premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in the series “Un Certain Regard”.

Andreas Dresen
German writer and director Andreas Dresen, born in 1963, is known for his improvised shooting without a script, with a small but well-rehearsed team and with non-professional actors. Thus his films obtain a very realistic, half-documentary character. Wolke 9, his latest film about love and sexuality at a high age, has premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in the series “Un Certain Regard” and will be shown at theatres this autumn.

Peter Rommel
Berlin based German film producer Peter Rommel, born in 1956, produces acclaimed Arthouse productions such as Andreas Dresen’s Halbe Treppe, starring Axel Prahl, or the box office hit Sommer vorm Balkon, starring Nadja Uhl. In 1996, Rommel founded the ‘Peter Rommel Productions’ in Berlin and in 1996 the Stuttgart film production ‘Home Run Pictures’. In 2004, he founded together with international partners the film fund company ‘Shotgun Pictures’, which specializes in the cooperation with and the production of international film projects.

Further information on applications and the programme of the 3rd Zurich Master Class can be found on


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