Careers are Launched at the ZFF Academy

08. September 2021

The ZFF Academy unites emerging filmmakers. They meet for a five-day support programme and attend masterclasses by renowned personalities from the world of film. This year’s Academy brings together 19 talents from the fields of directing, producing and screenwriting. Previous alumni include Lisa Brühlmann (BLUE MY MIND) and Jonas Carpignano (A CIAMBRA).

ZFF Academy Participants

For 15 years, the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) has been inviting up-and-coming filmmakers to exchange ideas, learn from well-known personalities and network with industry representatives. This is how careers are launched. This year, the festival selected 19 talents from hundreds of applicants from around the globe – nine women and ten men – who stood out with their first works as producers, directors and/or screenwriters. These masters of tomorrow will now take part in our five-day support programme known as the ZFF Academy (formerly ZFF Master Class).

Participants are able to present excerpts from their current projects on the cinema screen and get feedback from their colleagues, network with industry representatives and present their film project in a 35-second elevator ride to an expert in the legendary “ZFF Elevator Pitches”, now in cooperation with the programme partner "Migros Culture Procentage Story Lab". They also attend the SoundTrack_Zurich symposium and connect with potential partners from the music scene at the “Swiss Music Export Business Mixer”.

Finally, at the heart of the Academy are the Masterclasses, in which seasoned filmmakers offer insight into their creative processes. The talents then get to meet the speakers during chaired one-and-a-half-hour talks in the closed intimate setting of the Kosmos cultural centre. Former Masterclass speakers include such Oscar-winning or nominated cineastes as directors Kevin Macdonald (ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER) and Oliver Hirschbiegel (DOWNFALL), producer Gabrielle Tana (PHILOMENA) and writer/director Agnieszka Holland (EUROPA EUROPA).

The Alumni list is also pretty impressive: Lisa Brühlmann (BLUE MY MIND) attended the ZFF Academy, as did Pierre Monnard (NEEDLE PARK BABY) and the celebrated Italian director Jonas Carpignano, who has been a perennial guest at the festival with his movies (A CIAMBRA, MEDITERRANEA).

The 19 participants of the ZFF Academy 2021 introduce themselves on the ZFF Industry website.

The programme is supported by SRF, KOSMOS cultural centre, the Ernst Göhner Foundation, City of Zurich’s Culture Department, Canton of Zurich’s Culture Office, The Federal Office of Culture (FOC) and the Migros’ sponsored Story Lab.

The complete program of the 17th Zurich Film Festival will be published on the website on Thursday, September 9, from 12 noon local time. In addition, it can be viewed on the official festival app Tribo, where it is also possible to compile a personal festival program. Ticket sales will start on Monday, September 13, from 12 noon local time.