Public Zurich Master Class

The Zurich Film Festival and Schweizer Fernsehen’s 5th Talent Workshop.

Zurich turns into an international meeting place for film during the annual Zurich Film Festival. One objective of the Zurich Film Festival’s organisers is to use this platform to provide young, ambitious and talented individuals with the opportunity to open up dialogues with renowned filmmakers.

This was achieved in 2006 with the initiation of the Zurich Master Class, which has already seen numerous aspiring filmmakers participate in its programme over the last few years. In 2010, a select circle of directors, authors and producers from Switzerland, Germany and Austria will be given the opportunity to learn from the masters of their profession by discussing specific topics in great detail during a week of intensive talks. Co-organised by Schweizer Fernsehen, the Zurich Master Class offers workshops concentrating on various film-specific topics, inspirational encounters and intensive networking possibilities. This year’s “invitation only” workshop talks will take place within the walls of the Zurich University of the Arts on Gessnerallee.

We are also pleased to announce that several discussions will be open to the general public within the framework of the 6th Zurich Film Festival’s Public Master Classes held by our very welcome guests Barry Gifford, Adrian Grenier and Vilmos Zsigmond.

Discussion with Vilmos Zsigmond

October 1, 2010, 10.30, cinema corso 4

Moderation: Peter Cowie

In English only

Vilmos Zsigmond

Oscar prize-winning Vilmos Zsigmond’s filmography reads like a mini Best of American Masterpieces from the last decade. Born in Hungary, Zsigmond migrated to the USA in 1957 carrying 35 mm recordings of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, and established himself as one of his new homeland’s most important cameramen within the space of a few short years. He celebrated his Hollywood breakthrough after collaborating with the most influential directors of the 70s: Robert Altman’s anti-Western McCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971) brought him his first BAFTA nomination. With several Academy Award nominations and an Oscar for Steven Spielberg’s science fiction film CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977), Zsigmond is now one of America’s greatest and most renowned cameramen. His image language has shaped innumerable films including Brian de Palma’s classic OBSESSION (1976), THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES (1990), BLACK DAHLIA (2006) and Michael Cimino’s THE DEER HUNTER (1978) and HEAVEN’S GATE (1980).

YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER (2010) is his third collaboration with Woody Allen. This Public Zurich Master Class will see Vilmos Zsigmond use a selection of film sequences to discuss his work with the renowned film critic Peter Cowie.

Discussion with Barry Gifford

October 1, 2010, 13.30, Corso 4

Moderation: Michel Bodmer

In English only

Barry Gifford

The eerie worlds of the claustrophobic universe dreamt up by David Lynch in LOST HIGHWAY and WILD AT HEART do not only originate in the sombre fantasies of the director himself: the US-American author and screenwriter Barry Gifford made his name writing the screenplays for the above mentioned masterpieces. Gifford’s tales from the American precipices not only encompass screenplay drafts for such films as PERDITA DURANGO (Àlex de la Iglesia) or CITY OF GHOSTS (Matt Dillon), but individual literary works – like the series of novels „Sailor & Lula“, the first volume of which, „Wild at Heart“, formed the base for David Lynch’s identically titled film – that are repeatedly published and translated into various languages. In addition to his literary writings and screenplays, Gifford has also published stage plays, essays and lyrics. In a discussion with Michael Bodmer, Barry Gifford will give an insight into his accomplishments using various film sequences.

Discussion with Adrian Grenier


October 3, 2010, 11.15, Corso 4

Moderation: Christine von Fragstein

In English only

Adrien Grenier

The multi-talented Adrian Grenier, himself a target of the paparazzi posse, turns the camera around and aims the lens at them in his film TEENAGE PAPARAZZO. This ironic and playful handling of stardom and his own celebrity status is typical of the young American, who found fame in his homeland for his role in the TV series ENTOURAGE. TEENAGE PAPARAZZO is Adrian Grenier’s second documentary film. In addition to directing, acting and producing his own film projects, the sought-after star is also the drummer in his own band “The Honey Brothers”. In this Zurich Master Class, Adrian Grenier will present his film – shown in Zurich as an Out of Competition Premiere – and discuss his multifaceted achievements with Christine von Fragstein and the audience. 

Film Finance Forum

Zurich Film Festival: Film Finance Forum for the first time in Switzerland.

Topic: Funding in the film industry

The Film Finance Forum will take place for the first time in Switzerland on September 25, 2010. The following questions will be discussed within the framework of the Zurich Film Festival at the Dolder Grand Hotel:

  • How to best invest in film?
  • How can film investment risk be effectively reduced to a minimum?
  • How does structural transformation in digital technology impact the film industry and how does it affect the value added?
  • How do the challenges met by the film industry influence financial and strategic trends across the whole media sector?
  • Chances and risks of 3D products, new channels of distribution such as Video on Demand
  • and much more

The Film Finance Forum is an annual event that has taken place in Los Angeles, New York and Cannes Film Festival. The Forum aims on the one hand at potential investors in the finance industry, and on the other hand at the film and entertainment branch, such as film grant funders, distributors, producers and worldwide sales and marketing.

The list of speakers include top-class names:

  • Bernhard Burgener (CEO, Constantin Medien AG) – Key Note Speaker
  • Dr. Carl L. Woebcken (Präsident und CEO, Studio Babelsberg)
  • Ulrich Bruckner (Head of Acquisitions, Sony Pictures International)
  • Margrit Staerk (Director Acquisitions, ZDF)
  • Leon Clarance (Investment Director, Octopus Investments)
  • Judith Chan (Senior Manager, Coutts and Co.)
  • Roeg Sutherland (Film Finance Agent, Creative Artists Agency)
  • Stewart Till (CEO, Icon Entertainment Group)
  • and much more

Information here.


The Future of the Swiss Film Promotion Concepts

The Zurich Film Festival and the Independent Swiss Film Producers lobby invite you to a podium discussion tackling the subject of reforms in the Swiss Film Promotion Concepts. The Independent Swiss Film Producers lobby will present their ideas and invite the industry to participate in open discussions.

Monday, September 27, 2010, 15:30

“Does Zurich need a Film Office?”

The talk "Does Zurich need a Film Office?" will be replaced by a presentation of Christiane Raab, Film Commissioner of the Berlin-Brandenburg Filmcommission. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 19:00 

The Talks take place at the festival centre at Hechtplatz.

Charity Events

The Zurich Film Festival supports Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is looking to encourage as many people as possible to actively support its organisation. The Zurich Film Festival’s organisers and innumerable other individuals have already caught the good-natured MSF virus and are happily passing it on to others – anybody who can identify with the values of MSF is susceptible. Catch the fever and show you care. Find out more under

„I have MSF“ Night on Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Zurich Film Festival presents a premiere film, the contents of which is very much in the spirit of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders. The subject tackled in the film LIFE, ABOVE ALL closely relates to MSF’s day-to-day operation. You too can support the MSF’s good work by purchasing a ticket for the premiere: the entire proceeds will go to the medical organisation. The film will be followed by a discussion with MSF co-workers and the film’s director.

Charity Brunch on Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Zurich Film Festival and MSF invite you to a sumptuous Sunday Bruch at the Restaurant Rüsterei where you will be able to acquaint yourself with MSF and its projects in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Your 150 CHF contribution will go in its entirety to MSF. The brunch will be followed by a screening of BON APPÉTIT in the Arena Filmcity cinema.

Come and enjoy the Charity Brunch and support MSF!

Price per person with brunch and film: 150 CHF

Reserve your place at the Restaurant Rüsterei on 044 317 19 19 (standard call rate).

Restaurant Rüsterei - sihlcity gastro ag, Kalanderplatz 6, 8045 Zurich