ZFF Masters


The ZFF MASTERS series offers a unique opportunity to experience renowned international filmmakers up-close and gain insight into their work. The ZFF MASTERS take place at the Filmpodium and are open to film fans and interested parties alike.

Tickets for the ZFF MASTERS are available from all ZFF advance sale ticket points and at starticket.ch.

Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman is one of the most influential documentary filmmakers of recent decades. With his moving portraits of important US institutions, Wiseman has succeeded in capturing the „American soul“. Neither interviews nor voice-overs intervene in chronicler Wiseman’s observant approach. His award winning milestones include such titles as TITICUT FOLLIES (1967), WELFARE (1975) and the 2013 released university portrait AT BERKELEY. Wiseman has also recently increased his activities in Europe. This doyen of documentary film speaks at the ZFF MASTERS about his work. What does he find so fascinating about Direct Cinema? Where do his themes come from? And what projects attract his attention today?

Sun, 28.9.14, 17.00–18.00, Filmpodium, Language: English

Susanne Bier

Susanne Bier is one of the most accomplished European filmmakers of our time. The Danish screenwriter and director is responsible for such internationally successful productions as BROTHERS (2004) and AFTER THE WEDDING (2006). She realised her first US production in 2007 with THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE. Her family drama IN A BETTER WORLD (2010) garnered the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. At the ZFF Masters, Susanne Bier offers insight into her work as a filmmaker. What hurdles did she have to overcome to take a foothold in the male-dominated film industry? And what challenges face European film workers in Hollywood?

Wed, 1.10.14, 18.00–19.00, Filmpodium, Language: English

Fatih Akin

Ten years ago, Faith Akin celebrated his powerful break-through with GEGEN DIE WAND (2004): The film was honoured with multiple awards, among them the Golden Bear and the European Film Award, but it is only the center of Akin's throughout brilliant cineastic work. Already his first feature film KURZ UND SCHMERZLOS gained wide recognition. Love and homeland, Hamburg and Istanbul, great hopes and crazy ideas – these are the themes of almost all his films. And Akin is well versed in balancing sternness and gaiety, darkness and light. Besides his work as a director, he also successfully participates in the German film scene as scriptwriter, producer, and actor. After GEGEN DIE WAND and AUF DER ANDEREN SEITE (2007), Akin finally presents the last part of his  "Love, Death, and the Devil" trilogy: THE CUT will be screened at this year's Zurich Film Festival.

Thu, 2.10.14, 15.15–16.15, corso 2, Language: German

Hans Zimmer

For over thirty years, film composer Hans Zimmer has created new cinematic worlds by merging traditional instruments and synthesized sounds. German-born Zimmer celebrated his breakthrough in 1988 with the music for RAIN MAN. He has since composed the music for over 100 films, and is the recipient of countless awards, including an Academy Award. His unforgettable scores include those for THE LION KING (1994), GLADIATOR (2001), THE DARK KNIGHT (2009) and INCEPTION (2010). Zimmer will speak at the ZFF MASTERS about the workings of a film composer. How can you take musical inspiration from the look and theme of a film while also adding your own accents? How does music influence the world of cinema and vice versa?

Thu, 2.10.14, 17.30 – 18.30, Filmpodium, Language: German

Ulrich Seidl

Werner Herzog considers him one of his favourites, Michael Haneke values his radicalism, countless young filmmakers are influenced by his visual language: We are talking about Ulrich Seidl, one of Austria’s most important filmmakers. Exploring the fine line between fiction and documentary, his film projects are fascinating and unsettling, seemingly far from reality yet disturbingly close to it. His list of works includes such award-winning films as TIERISCHE LIEBE (1995) and HUNDSTAGE (2001). Seidl caused a sensation last year with his PARADIES trilogy. At the ZFF MASTERS, Ulrich Seidl offers us insight into his work: What fascinates him about the blending of documentary and fiction? How does he get to know his film’s protagonists?

Sun, 5.10.14, 12.45–13.45, Filmpodium, Language: German