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International Feature Film

Lone Scherfig (Jury President)

Lone Scherfig began her career directing award-winning commercials and TV dramas. In 2001 she won the Berlin Silver Bear for ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS. Her first English-language film WILBUR WANTS TO KILL HIMSELF (2002) was nominated for best screenplay at the British Independent Film Awards. In 2008 she directed AN EDUCATION. It won the Sundance Audience Award and was nominated for eight BAFTA’s including Best Director, and three Academy Awards including Best Picture. Other film credits include ONE DAY (2011) , THE RIOT CLUB(2014) and THEIR FINEST (2016). Scherfig has several TV credits, recently directing episodes of The Astronaut Wives Club for ABC.

Graham Broadbent

Graham Broadbent is one of Britain’s most prolific film producers. He was the co-founder of the production companies Dragon Pictures (WELCOME TO SARAJEVO, 1997) and Motion Pictures (MILLIONS, 2004). In 2004, together with Pete Czernin, he co-founded the production company Blueprint Pictures, which is responsible for such hit feature films as John Madden’s THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (2011) and the BAFTA Award-winning IN BRUGES (2008). Martin McDonagh’s THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI and THE MERCY are currently in post-production at Blueprint.

David Farr

David Farr is a british writer and director of film, television and theatre. He was Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company 2009-2013. In 2015, Farr made his directorial debut with THE ONES BELOW, which screened at Toronto, London and Berlin Film Festivals. In 2015 he adapted John le Carre’s THE NIGHT MANAGER into a six episode mini-series for BBC TV and AMC. He has been nominated for outstanding writing in a limited series at the 68th Emmy Awards 2016. He also wrote screenplays for the films HANNA (2010) and HHhH (2016).

Sibel Kekilli

German-Turkish actress Sibel Kekilli became known to a broad audience after giving her debut feature film performance in GEGEN DIE WAND (2004), a role that garnered her the German Film Award for Best Actress. She has since appeared in numerous national and international feature film productions, including multi award-winning films such as WINTERREISE (2006) and DIE FREMDE (2010). Kekilli also appeared in four seasons of the American hit TV series GAME OF THRONES. She has played alongside Axel Milberg in the Kiel version of TATORT since 2010.


International Documentary

Mike Lerner (Jury President)

Since 1988, British producer Mike Lerner has contributed significantly to numerous award-winning films and TV productions for such prestigious stations as BBC, Channel 4, BFI, HBO, PBS and Discovery Channel. The list of his most important works as a producer includes HELL AND BACK AGAIN, about U.S. soldiers returning from the Afghan War (Academy Award nomination 2012), and THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and screened at Zurich Film Festival in 2015. Lerner’s directorial debut PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER garnered international critical acclaim. Mike Lerner currently works for Roast Beef Productions in London.

Betzabé García

Born in Sinaloa, Mexico in 1990, filmmaker Betzabé García graduated from the CUEC Film School in Mexico City. Her short film PORCELANA (2013) won the Mexican Film Institute’s (IMCINE) National Short Film Competition. Her first feature length documentary film LOS REYES DEL PUEBLO QUE NO EXISTE (2015) won the Audience Award at last year’s SXSW Festival, the Grand Jury Award at Full Frame Festival, Best Documentary Film at Morelia Festival and the Golden Eye for Best International Documentary Film at Zurich Film Festival. García realised the NY Times’ Op-Doc project UNSILENCED in 2016.

Firouzeh Khosrovani

After studying art in Italy, Teheran-born Firouzeh Khosrovani returned to Iran, where she graduated with a Master’s in journalism. Since realising her debut short documentary LIFE TRAIN in 2004, Khosrovani has made numerous award-winning short and mid-length documentary films.ESPELHO MEU, a film about the concept of beauty, which she co-directed, won the award for best documentary film at Documenta Madrid. Her contribution to the anthology film PROFESSION: DOCUMENTARIST screened in the ZFF’s „New World View“ section last year. She follows young Iranian women on the journey into adulthood in her most recent film FEST OF DUTY (2015).

Stéphane Kuthy

Born in Paris in 1968, Stéphane Kuthy graduated with a degree in filmmaking from the ECAL in Lausanne. He has worked as a director of photography on twelve feature films, including Bettina Oberli’s DIE HERBSTZEITLOSEN (2006) and TANNÖD (2009), Christoph Schaub’s JEUNE HOMME (2006) and Emily Atef’s TÖTE MICH (2011), as well as several TV films. He has also shot some twenty documentary films, including such internationally successful productions as DIE FRAU MIT DEN 5 ELEFANTEN (2009), THE GUANTANAMO TRAP (2011) and DIE GENTRIFIZIERUNG BIN ICH. Kuthy regularly lectures at film schools.

Nadav Schirman

The filmmaker Nadav Schirman was born in Jerusalem and lives in Frankfurt. His first documentary film THE CHAMPAGNE SPY (2007) garnered the Israeli Film Award for Best Documentary Film. This was followed in 2013 by IN THE DARK ROOM, a portrait about the ex-wife of the famous and notorious terrorist Carlos. In 2014, he made the documentary film THE GREEN PRINCE, which was based on the book „Son of Hamas“ about the internal security service informer Mosab Hassan Yousef. The film won the Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award and screened in-competition at the 10th Zurich Film Festival.

Focus Switzerland, Germany, Austria

Bettina Reitz (Jury President)

Bettina Reitz has been in charge of productions as the editor-in-chief and/or executive producer at ZDF, teamWorx and Degeto since 1991. Many of her productions have garnered important awards, including an Academy Award for DAS LEBEN DER ANDEREN (2007), AMOUR (2013) and CITIZENFOUR (2015). Bettina Reitz spent three years at the helm of Bayerischer Rundfunk as its director of programming. She has been the first full-time president of the University of Film and Television Munich since 2015, and vice president of the German Academy of Performing Arts since March 2016.

Joel Basman

Born in 1990, the Swiss actor Joel Basman first appeared on TV at the age of 14 in the Swiss series LÜTHI UND BLANC. His played his first leading role in the feature CANNABIS (2006). Basman was recipient of the Berlinale’s Shooting Stars Award in 2008 for his role in the feature length drama LUFTBUSINESS. The highlight of his hugely successful career came with receiving the German Film Award for his role in WIR SIND JUNG. WIR SIND STARK (2014). He is currently involved in the coming-of-age drama ES WAR EINMAL INDIANERLAND under the direction of İlker Çatak.

Nathalie Borgers

Belgium-born Nathalie Borgers first worked as a journalist in Brussels before studying directing and producing in San Francisco. She won the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Student Award for Documentary Writing in 1989. Borgers worked as a director and executive producer for the production company Atriom. On returning to Europe, she began her career as an independent filmmaker with films like TRUTH UNDER SIEGE (1994), WINDS OF SAND, WOMEN OF FROC (2009) and GREETINGS FROM THE COLONY (2011). Borgers’ most recent documentary film FANG DEN HAIDER screened within ZFF’s „Focus“ section in 2015.

Micha Lewinsky

The director and screenwriter Micha Lewinsky lives in Zurich and Berlin. He received the Swiss Film Award in 2008 for his widely praised directorial debut DER FREUND. This was followed by the romantic comedy DIE STANDESBEAMTIN, a Swiss box office hit in 2009. His most recent film NICHTS PASSIERT, with Devid Striesow in the lead role, premiered within ZFF’s „International Competition“ section in 2015, and has since screened at various festivals around the world. In addition to other accolades, the film also received the Swiss Film Award for Best Screenplay.

Devid Striesow

Devid Striesow graduated as an actor from the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1999. He went on to perform at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg and the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus. His list of credits includes playing the protagonists in the Academy Award-winning film DIE FÄLSCHER (2007), in Tom Tykwer’s DREI (2010) and most recently, in ZFF competition entry NICHTS PASSIERT (2014). Striesow is well known to audiences of German television for his embodiment of the Chief Inspector from Saarbrücken in TATORT. Devid Striesow is a winner of the German Film Award and recipient of numerous other accolades.

Jury of Critics

The Jury of Critics, compiled by the Swiss Association of Film Journalists (SVFJ), present the Critics' Prize / Critics' Choice Award to a debut narrative feature film from the competition sections "International Competition" and "Focus".

The Jury is composed of the following members:

  • Raphaële Bouchet
  • Tereza Fischer
  • Cristina Trezzini

The winner film will be announced at the ZFF Award Night on October 1th.