Making waves with revolutionary cinema

Spanish actress María Cerezuela is the face of this 12 months’s Zurich Movie Pageant poster ZFF

The Zurich Movie Pageant (ZFF) is little identified in Europe. In Hollywood, nevertheless, it enjoys status. Six of the Greatest Image Oscar winners previously ten years had their premiere in Zurich. This 12 months the competition is presenting the most recent era of Spanish filmmakers.

This content material was printed on September 23, 2022 – 09:00


“We’re the most important German-language autumn movie competition on the earth,” says inventive director Christian Jungen. Over the course of its 18-year historical past, the ZFF has established itself on the worldwide movie scene and solid its personal id. Whereas it might lack the identical fame in Europe as different main festivals like Cannes, San Sebastián or Locarno, it enjoys nice status in Hollywood.

The competition desires to advertise exchanges between rising administrators, the movie trade and most people. The ZFF is commonly a springboard to fame for the brand new faces of cinema.


Nevertheless, it isn’t with out its critics. Since its inception in 2005, the ZFF has struggled to convey a concrete inventive strategy. Some Swiss movie specialists contemplate the competition to be merely a present of Zurich vanity. Supporters of the ZFF, nevertheless, retort that Zurich has the movie competition {that a} huge metropolis deserves.

Christian Jungen, inventive director of the Zurich Movie Pageant ZFF

Criticism apart, audiences on the competition have grown 12 months after 12 months. In 2021, regardless of the pandemic, 102,000 movie buffs attended, a rise of fifty% over the earlier 12 months, making it the most important movie competition in Switzerland for the second 12 months in a row.


In response to the ZFF’s detractors, Jungen defends the id of the competition, which he says has been dedicated to high quality and unbiased cinema since its inception and has all the time supported new Swiss and worldwide expertise.

“It isn’t a straightforward process,” Jungen instructed SWI “We look for gems among the more than 3,000 films we receive. Many film directors who started out at the ZFF have gone on to become established – for example, Cary Joji Fukunaga, who presented his debut feature No Name in 2009 and returned last year as director of the James Bond hit, No Time to Die.”


One of the crucial eagerly awaited movies on the ZFF this 12 months is the world premiere of Der Nachname, the newest comedy by famend German director Sönke Wortmann. The ZFF can even host the European premiere of the primary movie adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s novel Im Westen nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Entrance) that includes actor Daniel Brühl. It is a prestigious Netflix manufacturing, which arrives in Zurich accompanied by a big entourage.

Zurich Movie Pageant

The ZFF is the second-largest competition within the German-speaking world after the Berlinale (Berlin Movie Pageant). It’s usually a platform for up-and-coming filmmakers from everywhere in the world.

The competition has established itself on the Swiss movie scene, however has but to seek out its true calling on the worldwide stage.

The movies screened in every principal class (Focus Competitors, Characteristic Movie Competitors and Documentary Competitors) will compete for a Golden Eye, the competition’s principal prize, which can be awarded by an unbiased jury.

The Golden Eye is endowed with a money prize of CHF25,000 ($25,546).

The ZFF is coming of age this 12 months. The 18th version of the competition takes place from September 22 to OctoberExternal link 2.

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‘New World Vision’

Yearly, the “Neue Welt Sicht” (New World Imaginative and prescient) part presents a overseas nation the chance to take part as a particular visitor.

This 12 months, Spain is within the highlight. The part presents the newest era of Spanish filmmakers who’re making waves with their revolutionary cinema. These younger administrators inform very private tales in opposition to the backdrop of a world financial disaster.

The ZFF presents a multi-faceted programme starting from the massive metropolis lights of Madrid and Barcelona to the cultural and linguistic frontiers and the coastal and rural areas of Spain. Main hits, equivalent to the massive winner at the newest Berlinale, Alcarràs, and the shock art-house hit Cinco Lobitos (Lullaby), rub shoulders on this part with new discoveries and competition gems.

“There’s a new era of Spanish filmmakers rising within the shadow of greats equivalent to Pedro Almodóvar and Carlos Saura, who really feel the necessity to inform the story of the social tensions of their homeland and deal with previous chapters in Spanish historical past,” says Jungen. One of the crucial excellent movies this 12 months is Modelo 77, by Alberto Rodríguez, which begins in 1977 after Franco’s dying, and exhibits how the previous safety forces continued to manage the nation’s prisons and harass political prisoners.

That is the setting for Maixabel, a movie by Icíar Bollaín that fashioned a part of the programme of final 12 months’s competition. It tells the story of the advanced battle brought on by the terrorist group ETA, probably the most tough episodes in Spain’s current historical past.

The movie focuses on a undertaking of forgiveness between the condemned terrorists and victims of the ETA assaults. Actress María Cerezuela gained a Goya (Spain’s nationwide movie award) for finest new actress in 2022 and graces the poster of this 12 months’s ZFF.

“Being a part of this movie marked my life perpetually,” says the younger actress, talking from Biscay in northern Spain. “It is a very necessary film in this individualistic world, incapable of listening or empathising with the person next to you.”

“The tip of ETA marked a earlier than and after within the historical past of our nation,” she provides. “Spanish cinema immediately is experiencing a second of reflection. Tales are being instructed which are down-to-earth and near residence and that join with a big viewers.” Feminine characters are additionally more and more being portrayed in a much less sexist method, Cerezuela factors out.

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A full programme

This 12 months’s ZFF programme options administrators equivalent to Carla Simón with Alcarràs, Carlota Pereda along with her movie Cerdita, Alauda Ruiz de Azúa with Cinco lobitos, Pilar Palomero with La Maternal, Clara Roquet with Libertad and Andrea Bagney with Ramona.

However that is not all. Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s movie, As Bestas, has additionally attracted the critics’ consideration. This thriller set in a rural space of Galicia leaves nobody detached. The plot generates a crescendo of stress that accompanies the viewers till the top.

The director Juan Diego Botto arrives with a social drama, En los márgenes (On the Fringe), made up of three intertwined tales. For this, he has counted on the efficiency of Penélope Cruz and Luis Tosar, amongst others. His movie just lately premiered on the Venice Movie Pageant.

Miguel Ángel Blanca’s documentary, Magaluf Ghost City, additionally offers with the social issues of modern-day Spain. The city of Magaluf in Mallorca exemplifies how Europe’s low-cost tourism mannequin performs out in actual life from the attitude of locals and vacationers.

Adrián Silvestre’s function, Mi vacío y yo (My vacancy and I), is a drama that goals to boost consciousness about transsexuality. Lastly, suspense performs a key position for Jonás Trueba, who prefers to ship a transparent message along with his movie, You must come and see it, with out giving any additional rationalization.


Lastly, Alcarràs by director Carla Simón was just lately awarded the Golden Bear on the Berlinale in a unanimous determination by the jury – in no way a straightforward feat.

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Alcarràs tells the story of a household that displays a rural world which appears to be economically and socially devalued. After 80 years cultivating the identical land, the Solé household reunites to reap their final crop collectively, as their land can be changed by photo voltaic panels.

Household dynamics play a key position in Simón’s movies, as she demonstrated in her earlier function, Estiù 1993 (Summer season 1993), for which she gained the Goya for Greatest New Director.

“Spanish cinema is [experiencing] a really candy second,” Simón instructed SWI “There’s a nice crop of unbiased filmmakers who’re having an influence on the worldwide movie scene. The truth that Spain is a visitor nation in Zurich is a good honour and an indication of this.”

Edited by Mark Livingston

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI requirements

Extra: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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