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International Feature Film Competition

Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone (Jury President)

Oliver Stone is one of the most successful filmmakers of our time. The three-time Academy Award winner is recognized for his controversial takes on recent American History with films such as PLATOON (1986), NATURAL BORN KILLERS (1994) or SNOWDEN (2016). Back in 2007, he was the recipient of ZFF’s “A Tribute to... Award”. Stone returns this year with a restored version of THE DOORS (1991) and his doc series THE PUTIN INTERVIEWS (2017), both part of the “Special Screenings” section.

Laura Bispuri

Laura Bispuri

Director and screenwriter Laura Bispuri is a leading representative of a new and exciting generation of Italian filmmakers that recently featured in ZFF’s “New World View” section. Her feature debut VERGINE GIURATA (2015) made it straight to the competition of the Berlinale, where her second work FIGLIA MIA (2018) was also premiered. Both films went on to become award-winning festival hits and were sold worldwide. Bispuri was also listed in 2018 as one of Variety’s 10 Europeans to watch.

Ciro Guerra

Ciro Guerra

Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra gave his award-winning feature debut at the age of 23 with LA SOMBRA DEL CAMINANTE (2004). His groundbreaking film EL ABRAZO DE LA SERPIENTE (2015) was the first Colombian movie to receive an Academy Award nomination. He is the co-director of crime-drama PÁJAROS DE VERANO (2018), which won numerous awards, including Best Latin American Film of the Year. Guerra’s latest, WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS (2019), screens within ZFF’s Gala Premieres section this year.

Sebastian Koch

Sebastian Koch

Sebastian Koch is one of the most sought-after German actors of his generation. His career began on the theatre stage, where he continues to perform successfully to this day. His international breakthrough came with the Academy Award- winning GDR drama THE LIVES OF OTHERS (2006). He has since appeared in a great many projects such as Verhoeven’s BLACK BOOK (2006), Spielberg’s BRIDGE OF SPIES (2015), the series HOMELAND (2015-2016) and the Academy Award-nominated NEVER LOOK AWAY (2018).

Tiziana Soudani

Tiziana Soudani

With her company Amka Films, Tiziana Soudani is one of the most internationally acclaimed Swiss producers. Her credits include the worldwide successful feature PANE E TULIPANI (Bread and Tulips, 2000) and Alice Rohrwacher’s multi award-winning films LE MERAVIGLIE (2014) and LAZZARO FELICE (2018). She is also the producer of Swiss Film Award-winner WAALO FENDO (1998) and of festival hits such as L’INTERVALLO (2012), L’INTRUSA (2017) and LOVE ME TENDER (2019).


International Documentary Film Competition

Simon Chinn (Jury President)

Producer Simon Chinn is responsible for some of the most successful documentaries of recent years. His film MAN ON WIRE (2008) garnered an Academy Award. His films THE IMPOSTER (2012) and THE GREEN PRINCE (2014) were selected by Sundance, and screened in-competition at ZFF. His Academy Award-winning film SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN (2012) went on to become a worldwide box office hit. He launched Lightbox in 2014. His latest, UNTOUCHABLE (2019), screens within ZFF’s “Hashtag” section.

Christian Frei

Swiss director and producer Christian Frei is considered one of today’s most compelling documentary filmmakers. He was nominated for an Academy Award with WAR PHOTOGRAPHER (2001) and won the World Cinema Directing Award at Sundance with SPACE TOURISTS (2009). His latest film GENESIS 2.0 (2018) screened at more than 70 festivals and scooped 12 awards, including an award for best cinematography at Sundance. Frei is the president of the Swiss Film Academy and lecturer at the University of St. Gallen.

Maryam Goormaghtigh

Maryam Goormaghtigh is a Geneva-born screenwriter and director. In addition to shooting short films, she is also responsible for the award-winning Arte web doc CODE BARRE (2012). Her feature-length debut AVANT LA FIN DE L’ÉTÉ (2017) premiered at Cannes, where it opened the fest’s ACID section. Selected for more than 30 international film festivals, the film has won numerous awards, including ZFF’s Emerging Swiss Talent Award. Goormaghtigh also lectures at the HEAD University of Art and Design in Geneva.

Anja Kofmel

Anja Kofmel is a Swiss illustrator and director of animadoc films who trained at the HSLU in Luzern and ENSAD in Paris. Her multi award-winning short animation CHRIGI (2009) was a worldwide festival hit. Her feature debut, the animadoc CHRIS THE SWISS (2018), was selected for Cannes (Semaine de la Critique) and won numerous international awards, including the Zurich Film Award. Kofmel is also a guest lecturer at the Film Academy Baden Württemberg and Lucerne’s HSLU.

Stephen Nemeth

Founder and head of independent production company Rhino Films, producer Stephen Nemeth's numerous film credits include FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1996), THE SESSIONS (2012) and C.O.G. (2013) as well as documentaries DOGTOWN AND Z BOYS (2001), WAR DANCE (2007) and CLIMATE REFUGEES (2010). He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and on the board of various non-profit organizations including Friends of the Earth and the Inter- national Documentary Association.

Focus Switzerland, Germany, Austria Competition

Thomas Kufus (Jury President)

As CEO and producer of Berlin-based zero one film, Thomas Kufus – together with his partner Volker Heise – produced more than 100 documentaries, feature films and series, the most recent being DIE NEUE ZEIT (TV-series, 2019) and 24H EUROPE – THE NEXT GENERATION (2019). His further list of credits includes such award-winning films as Corinna Belz’s GERHARD RICHTER PAINTING (2011) and Markus Imhoof’s
MORE THAN HONEY (2012). Kufus is a member of the European and German Film Academies.

Natascha Beller

Screenwriter and director Natascha Beller graduated with a degree in filmmaking from Zurich’s ZHdK. She is a winner of the ADC Young Creatives Award, co-author of the worldwide viral video hit “Switzerland Second”, and penned the SRF films VATERJAGD (2014) and ZWIESPALT (2017). Beller has been the author and director of the SRF late-night show “Deville” since 2016. Her feature debut
 DIE FRUCHTBAREN JAHRE SIND VORBEI (2019) screened as part of Locarno Festival’s “Piazza Grande” programme.

Benjamin Herrmann

Following stints at ProSieben and Senator, German Academy Award-nominated producer and distributor Benjamin Herrmann set up his own Berlin-based company, Majestic, in 2006. His credits include Doris Dörrie’s KIRSCHBLÜTEN - HANAMI (2008), Philipp Stölzl’s NORDWAND (2008), Sherry Hormann’s DESERT FLOWER (2009), David Wnendt’s FEUCHTGEBIETE (2013), Christian Zübert’s HIN UND WEG (2014) as well as Florian Gallenberger’s COLONIA (2015). Benjamin Herrmann is chairman of the German Film Academy.

Marie Kreutzer

Marie Kreutzer is a freelance screenwriter and director from Austria. Her debut feature DIE VATERLOSEN (2011) screened as part of Berlinale’s Panorama section. GRUBER GEHT (2015) and WAS HAT UNS BLOSS SO RUINIERT (2016) became box office hits and screened at numerous festivals, including in competition at ZFF. Her most recent offering DER BODEN UNTER DEN FÜSSEN (2019) premiered in competition at Berlinale. Kreutzer is a member of the governing body of the Austrian Film Institute.

Aline Schmid

Swiss producer Aline Schmid is founder of the Geneva-based production company Beauvoir Films. Her credits include SONITA (2015) which won the Audience Award at both Sundance and IDFA, as well as CLOSING TIME (2018), which scooped a Silver Leopard at Locarno. Her documentary WALDEN (2018) won ZFF’s Emerging Swiss Talent Award and the Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary. Schmid participated in Producers on the Move at Cannes. Currently she is working on Ramon & Silvan Zürcher’s second feature THE GIRL AND THE SPIDER.