The Golden Eyes of the 18th ZFF go to films from Switzerland, from Colombia and from the USA

01. October 2022

This evening, the prizes of the 18th Zurich Film Festival were presented during the Award Night at Zurich Opera House. The festival's main awards were given in three competition categories: A Golden Eye goes to each of the films CASCADEUSES by Elena Avdija, LOS REYES DEL MUNDO by Laura Mora and SAM NOW by Reed Harkness.

The Award Night of the 18th Zurich Film Festival took place on Saturday, October 1 at Zurich Opera House. Comprising three separate categories, the International Competition forms the core of the Festival. The ZFF competition showcases films by young, promising filmmakers who compete with their first, second or third directorial works for the festival's most prestigious award, the Golden Eye, which is endowed with a CHF 25'000 cash prize. Every film selected for the three competition categories is either a world, European or Swiss premiere. In addition to the three main categories, numerous other prizes were also presented, including the ZFF for Kids' Jury Prize and the Audience Award.

Christian Jungen, artistic director of the ZFF explained in his speech: "The strong increase in the number of admissions for films in competition is gratifying. This shows that the audience is curious and has a desire to discover new filmmakers and that auteur cinema is alive."

The following is a list of the winning films of the 18th Zurich Film Festival.

 Focus Competition 

CASCADEUSES by Elena Avdija (Switzerland, France, 2022)

This category focusses on films from Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The winner of the Golden Eye in the category this year is CASCADEUSES by Elena Avdija.

Jury statement: The Focus Competition jury is delighted to award the Golden Eye to CASCADEUSES for it’s beautiful direction and strong cinematography, for its wonderful sense of cinematic rhythm and its respect for its characters. The film gives us an unsentimental view into a world that we never get to see. We cannot wait to see what Elena Avdija will do next!

Special Mention: FOUDRE by Carmen Jaquier

Jury: Christine Vachon (jury president),Fred Baillif, Katharina Mückstein, Maria Fantastica Valmori, Roger Schawinski

 Feature Film Competition 

(Colombia, Spain, Norway, Luxembourg, Mexico, France, 2022)

The 18th Zurich Film Festival’s Golden Eye for Best Feature Film goes to LOS REYES DEL MUNDO by Laura Mora.

Jury statement: The movie was one of the first films we saw and it left us with unforgettable images and scenes. LOS REYES DEL MUNDO is meticulously crafted and brings us close to the young protagonists who fight for freedom and dignity. The lyrical film language infuses the harsh reality with a metaphysical dimension. It’s an important and powerful story about the marginalized in society.

Special Mention:
WAR PONY by Gina Gammell and Riley Keough

Jury: Asghar Farhadi (jury president), Clio Barnard, Daniel Dreifuss, Petra Volpe, Piodor Gustafsson

 Documentary Competition 

SAM NOW by Reed Harkness (USA 2022)

The Golden Eye in the Documentary Film Competition category goes to SAM NOW by Reed Harkness.

Jury statement: This film stood out to all of us as the finest that cinema can do. Which is sending the viewer on a journey of introspection and questioning of human life and human relationships. In our crazy and collapsing world, being able to understand, accept and reach for the others is certainly crucial to remember. Thanks to this wonderful filmmakers and their family, for their courage to share their journey of pain and healing with us.

Special Mention:

Jury: Alexander Nanau (jury president),Atanas Georgiev, Joëlle Bertossa, Nina Numankadić, Sushmit Ghosh

Further prizes of the 18th Zurich Film Festival were awarded to:

ZFF for Kids – Jury Prize: LUCY IST JETZT GANGSTER by Till Endemann

The Little Golden Eye of the ZFF for Children section goes to the film LUCY IST JETZT GANGSTER from Germany / Netherlands.

Audience Award: BECOMING GIULIA by Laura Kaehr

The viewers also form a jury - among all the competition entries, people could vote for their favourite film via online voting. This year's audience favourite is the Swiss film BECOMING GIULIA by Laura Kaehr, which was shown in the Focus Competition.

ZFF for Kids – Audience Award: MY ROBOT BROTHER by Frederik Meldal Nørgaard

The children's film audience voted for their favourite: The Danish film MY ROBOT BROTHER by Frederik Meldal Nørgaard delighted the children and received the most votes.


Emerging Swiss Talent Award (Critics' Prize): FOUDRE by Carmen Jaquier

Jury: Anna Smith (Filmkritikerin, UK), David Martos (Filmjournalist, Spanien), Sebastian Seidler ( Filmkritiker, Deutschland)

The jury was impressed by Carmen Jaquier’s strong direction and visual flair in telling an engrossing story about faith, free love and female longing. The jury also noted the performances of the stars, praising the way that Jaquier worked with her young cast. An arresting feature debut from a talented Swiss director.

Science Film Award: THE TERRITORY by Alex Pritz

Zurich Churches Film Prize: FOUDRE by Carmen Jaquier

Best International Film Music: Robert IJserinkhuijsen

The following honorary awards were given during the 18th ZFF:

A Tribute to ... Award: Luca Guadagnino

Golden Icon Award: Sir Ben Kingsley

Career Achievement Award: Rachel Portman

Golden Eye Award: Charlotte Gainsbourg

Golden Eye Award: Eddie Redmayne

Game Changer Award: Michael Barker and Tom Bernard