About the festival


The 19th ZFF will take place from September 28 to October 8, 2023.


The Zurich Film Festival provides a platform for the most promising filmmakers from around the globe. It aims to promote exchange between emerging directors, successful film workers, the film industry and the general public. Every autumn, the ZFF presents the year’s greatest discoveries and most anticipated films.  


The Zurich Film Festival took place for the first time in October 2005. The festival was founded by Karl Spoerri (former Artistic Director) and Nadja Schildknecht (former Managing Director), who served as co-directors until 2019. The ZFF is organised by Zurich Film Festival AG and Spoundation Motion Picture AG in cooperation with local institutions and sponsors and works with distributors and producers from Switzerland and abroad. Within just a few years, the ZFF has established itself in the national and international festival landscape and is now one of the largest film festivals in the German-speaking region. Since its first edition, the festival has grown continuously. Despite the reduced capacity in 2021 due to the pandemic, the ZFF recorded over 100,000 visitors.

(ZFF founders Karl Spoerri and Nadja Schildknecht. © Geri Born)

(ZFF founders Karl Spoerri and Nadja Schildknecht. © Geri Born)


The International Competition sees emerging filmmakers compete in three categories with their first, second or third directorial works for the coveted Golden Eye – the festival’s highest accolade. The ZFF’s "Focus" competition section concentrates on the film-producing countries Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Out-of-competition, the fest also presents the year’s greatest discoveries (Gala Premieres) and most anticipated movies (Special Screenings). Furthermore, the "New World View" section focuses on the current cinematic oeuvre of a particular film-producing region. Other thematically focussed sidebars include the "Border Lines" (human rights) and "Hashtag" sections. And finally, numerous side events, such as the "ZFF Academy", the "Zurich Summit" and the "Film Music Competition", make the ZFF an important networking platform.

Film screenings in the presence of cast and crew, and the Public ZFF Masters events offer unique opportunities for the general public to interact with filmmakers. The ZFF’s screenings for kids and school pupils introduces the art of filmmaking to the very youngest of audiences, and helps them to see the cinema as a place of cultural exchange.   


Tickets are usually available to purchase here on our website and at other ZFF points of sale around ten days before the festival begins.


Film industry representatives (Industry Accreditation) and press delegates (Press Accreditation) can apply for accreditation to the Zurich Film Festival around two months before the film festival begins.


19. ZFF: September 28 - October 8, 2023
20. ZFF: October 3 - October 13, 2024
21. ZFF: September 25 - October 5, 2025