The 14th ZFF features an enticing film line up!

From the 27th of September the eleven-day Zurich Film Festival will present the latest films from 48 countries. Among the more than 160 productions are 42 debut works, 12 world premieres, 16 Swiss films, and 2 retrospectives. The festival programme is supplemented by the side-bar events the Masters series, the film music competition, the children’s workshops and much more.

Festival directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri unveiled this year’s festival programme and structure on Thursday.

As in previous years, the budget totals to CHF 7.3 million, which is financed by ticket sales and support from foundations, sponsors and the public sector.

“We continue to develop the festival with great commitment, but this is not our only goal,” says Schildknecht. “We are also concerned with the quality and sustainability of the festival, which many of our partners appreciate and support” adds Schildknecht, who is confident that the festival can rely on federal government contributions from 2019 onwards. “We restructured the company to meet Federal Office of Culture requirements. As a result, the Federal Office of Culture has given a positive signal that they are prepared to work on agreements with the ZFF for the years 2019 and 2020 and to finalize these by the end of 2018” continued Schildknecht.

The 14th ZFF starts September 27 - October 7, 2018.
14th Zurich film Festival

Zurich as a location for premieres The ZFF remains true to its artistic credo by once again presenting young fresh cinema in the competition sections and throughout the entire programme. Karl Spoerri is delighted with the high-quality programme, which focuses on current topics. “This means that films about current world politics between Russia and America, are just as strikingly represented as those on strong women who do not address emancipation and how to deal with sexual assault from a position of victimization,” says Spoerri.

This year, the ZFF has developed even more into a platform for launching big autumn titles in German-speaking Europe and features practically all the relevant titles of the upcoming award season. “We have been working for years on this development and are delighted that the ZFF is becoming more important internationally,” says Spoerri.

14th Zurich film Festival


“The side lines, like ‘New World View’, ‘Border Lines’ or the new sections ‘Hashtag’ and ‘ZFF Series’ offer many discoveries,” says Spoerri. “The many world and European premieres, which can be found in almost all sections of the programme, prove that the ZFF has established itself as a location for premieres.” The new sideline ‘Hashtag’ is guaranteed to be bang-up-to-date every year. This year, there are eight films on the subject of ‘Big Data’ and how digitization is changing everyday life and industries, be it in the porn sector, the job market or terrorist organisations. This year’s country of focus in the “New World View” sideline is: Italy, a country with a great history of cinema. Now a new and younger generation of directors is starting out, using film to highlight the conditions of their crisis-ridden country.

Trendy autumn titles and big star line-up – 

The Gala Premieres section presents the hottest autumn titles, including ROMA by Alfonso Cuaron, THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Jacques Audiard, and THE FAVORITE by Yorgos Lanthimos, who has just won three major awards at Venice Film Festival; Toronto Festival’s acclaimed titles FIRST MAN by Damien Chazelle, A STAR IS BORN by Bradley Cooper, HIGH LIFE by Claire Denis and BEAUTIFUL BOY by Felix Van Groeningen; and the three European premieres KURSK by Thomas Vinterberg, LIFE ITSELF by Dan Fogelman and THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN by David Lowery, CAPERNAUM by Nadine Labaki, SHOPLIFTERS by Hirokazu Kore-eda and from Germany comes Florian Henckel von Donnersmark with WERK WITHOUT AUTHOR, Sönke Wortmann with DER VORNAME and Marcus H. Rosenmüller for TRAUTMANN.

Once again we have an impressive star line-up: Judi Dench, the Grand Old Dame of British cinema, receives the Golden Icon Award. She will be in Zurich with her new film RED JOAN, a fact-based spy story. Her Canadian colleague Donald Sutherland will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award honour and an eleven-title retrospective. The ZFF will also honour the German director Wim Wenders with the “A Tribute to … Award” and a retrospective of twelve of his films. A record number of Academy Award-winners are expected at the ZFF with their films.

Six of them have received an Academy Award, including directors Pawel Pawlikowski, Kevin Macdonald or Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck; and nine more have received Academy Award nominations, including the two actors John C. Reilly and Dev Patel.

In addition to the competition directors, this year once again sees numerous directors, producers and performers present their films in Zurich in the Gala Premieres and sidebar sections. Among those who have accepted the ZFF’s invitation are Johnny Depp with RICHARD SAYS GOODBYE and Michael Bully Herbig with his film BALLON.

Those representing Switzerland include Max Hubacher, who plays the CAPERNAUM role in Hannes Baumgartner’s DER LÄUFER, Joel Basman, who appears in Michael Steiner’s in WOLKENBRUCH and in Thomas Vinterberg’s KURSK, Sabine Timoteo, who also plays in two films: CRONOFOBIA by Francesco Rizzi and the children’s film MATTI UND SAMI UND DIE DREI GRÖSSTEN FEHLER DES UNIVERSUMS.

Zurich film festival passes

Extensive supporting programme

The extensive supporting programme includes the ZFF Masters in the Filmpodium. Julian Schnabel, world-famous artist and Academy Award-nominated director, will head a ZFF Master’s Session, as will Academy Award-winners Florian Henckel von Donnersmark and Donald Sutherland and director and photographer Wim Wenders. The directors Kevin MacDonald, Christian Frei and James D. Sternsidelines will participate in the victimization invitation only ZFF Master Class workshops. They will pass on their many years of experience to their younger colleagues. The ZFF will collaborate with the Kulturhaus Kosmos for their Master Class sessions.

Furthermore, nine films from all over the world will victimization in the “ZFF for children” section. Once more, two prizes will be awarded in this section: the Children’s Audience Award and, in cooperation with UNICEF Switzerland, the Children’s Jury Prize. There will also be a series of workshops for children and adolescents, the first one will be headed by Insta-Star Gabirano. 18 school classes and 1841 pupils from 81 schools have already registered to participate.

7th International Film Music Competition with record number of participants –

The International Film Music Competition, which takes place on October 4 in the Maag Halle in collaboration with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Forum Filmmusik, has received an impressive 304 submissions (compared to 189 in the previous year) from 44 countries. They were set the task this year to score Steve Cutts’ short film HAPPINESS. Cliff Martinez will be this year’s jury president. The former RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS’ drummer has composed the music for three of Steven Soderbergh’s films: SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE, SOLARIS and CONTAGION.