Closing Figures

07. October 2013

The 9th Zurich Film Festival was a tremendous success. With a total of 71'000 visitors (previous year: 58'000), the festival has seen a more than 22% increase in viewer numbers. With 345 screenings (previous year 250) of 122 film titles (previous year: 111) and some 450 national and international guests (previous year: 350), the ZFF has once again experienced considerable growth.


„This has been a phenomenal year for us across the board“, said delighted Co-Directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri. “With many screenings selling out completely, the changeable weather was ideal for us. Presenting works by young filmmakers, our competition section has become a firmly established feature on the international festival landscape. The various awards for debut works proves that we’re on the right track”, said Schildknecht and Spoerri.

The juries of the four competition categories gave their respective main award, the Golden Eye, to Diego Quemada-Diez’s LA JAULA DE ORO from Mexico (International Feature Film), Kaspar Astrup Schroeder’s LEJ EN FAMILIE A/S (RENT A FAMILY INC.) from Denmark (International Documentary Film), Frauke Finsterwalder’s FINSTERWORLD from Germany (German-Language Feature) and Anna Thommen’s NEULAND from Switzerland (Documentary Germany, Austria, Switzerland).


The Critics Choice Award for best debut film also went to FINSTERWORLD; the Audience Award went to JOURNEY TO JAH from Noël Dernesch and Moritz Springer (Germany); and awarded for the first time this year, the Audience Award in the ,ZFF For Kids’ section went to BELIEVE from David Scheinmann (Great Britain). The first ever Treatment Competition award went to London-born resident of Zurich Dave Tucker.


The evening’s highlight was, of course, the presentation of the A Tribute to… Award to Austrian screenwriter, TV, film, theatre and opera director Michael Haneke, who gained a worldwide reputation with such films as BENNY'S VIDEO, FUNNY GAMES, LA PIANISTE, CACHÉ, THE WHITE RIBBON and most recently AMOUR.


In his moving presentation speech, German actor Burghart Klaussner, who worked with Haneke on THE WHITE RIBBON, emphasised the fact that the award was for his ‚previous’ work, and hoped that there are still further films to come. Haneke himself made it clear that the award was also for his longstanding team and his actors, without whom his work would not be possible.


Acting star Hugh Jackman, who received this year’s Golden Icon Award on the first Saturday evening at the corso cinema, was the source of the largest gathering of fans in festival history. With Tim Bevan (Career Achievement Award) and Harrison Ford (Lifetime Achievement Award), the festival honoured two further cinema greats. Michael Haneke, Tim Bevan and Harrison Ford, jury member Markus Imhoof and surprise guest Harvey Weinstein all answered questions posed by the public at completely sold out ZFF Masters sessions.

The 10th Zurich film Festival will take place from Thursday, September 25 until Sunday, October 5, 2014. See you there!