Year after year, the ZFF brings world stars to Zurich. Around the festival, there are plenty of opportunities to get close to Hollywood celebrities for once or to get profound insights into their artistic work.

Portrait of Juliette Binoche

Golden Icon Award

Juliette Binoche

A character actress with a mysterious aura: Juliette Binoche, an icon of French cinema who made it to Hollywood.

Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle, Leos Carax, Olivier Assayas: Juliette Binoche has stood in front of the camera for the greatest authors in French cinema. After gaining experience on the stage as a child, she went on to garner wider acclaim after starring in André Téchiné’s 1985 movie RENDEZ-VOUS. Her first English-speaking role came in THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING (1988), which followed a short time later. Binoche’s effortless ability to navigate the entire spectrum of genres has led her to being cast by filmmaking greats from around the globe. She garnered a César for TROIS COULEURS: BLEU (1993) and an Oscar for her role as a nurse in THE ENGLISH PATIENT (1996). A further Oscar Nomination followed in 2000 for her performance in CHOCOLAT. She has since delivered countless unforgettable performances, including in COPIE CONFORME (2010), CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA (2014) and HIGH LIFE (2018). The ZFF bestows the Golden Icon Award on Juliette Binoche on September 30, 2020, and presents her most recent project LA BONNE ÉPOUSE by Martin Provost.

Portrait of Maïwenn

A Tribute to… Award


Actress, screenwriter, director: Maïwenn is one of the most brilliant and talented young filmmakers of our time.

Maïwenn had already trod the boards as a child before appearing in early 1980s French movies. One of her first roles was in L’ÉTÉ MEURTRIER (1983). She achieved great fame through her performances in LÉON (1994) and LE CINQUIÈME ÉLÉMENT (1997) by Luc Besson. Maïwenn developed her directing skills parallel to working as an actress. Her first short film I’M AN ACTRICE (2004) was followed by her feature-length directorial debut PARDONNEZ-MOI (2006), in which she also plays the leading role. The social drama was nominated for two Césars in 2007. It was followed by two further director/actor works: LE BAL DES ACTRICES (2009) and POLISSE (2011). The latter scooped the Jury Prize at Cannes. Her fourth movie MON ROI was nominated for a Golden Palm, also at Cannes, in 2015. She will present her most recent picture ADN at the ZFF and receive the Golden Eye on October 1, 2020 at the Arthouse Le Paris theatre. The ZFF will also screen a retrospective of her early directorial works.

Portrait of Rolf Lyssy

Career Achievement Award

Rolf Lyssy

Rolf Lyssy unites tragedy and comedy like no other in these parts – his impressive oeuvre of feature and documentary films makes him one of Switzerland’s most outstanding filmmakers.

Lyssy turned to filmmaking after studying photography. He worked as a cameraman and cutter on the 1966 documentary URSULA ODER DAS UNWERTE LEBEN by Reni Mertens and Walter Marti. He attracted the world’s attention in 1975 with KONFRONTATION, the story about Jewish student David Frankfurter’s assassination of the high-ranking Nazi Wilhelm Gustloff in Davos. His 1978 masterpiece DIE SCHWEIZERMACHER, still the most successful Swiss film to date, was followed by the hit dialect comedies KASSETTENLIEBE (1981), TEDDY BÄR (1983) and LEO SONNYBOY (1989). Lyssy is a sublime narrator whose works paint a precise moral portrait of Swiss society, while broaching such social issues as drug addiction in WÄG VO DE GASS (2004) and independent living in old age in DIE LETZTE POINTE (2017). His most recent comedy EDEN FÜR JEDEN has its world premiere at the ZFF. Rolf Lyssy accepts the Career Achievement Award for his life’s work in person on September 28, 2020. Ten titles are screened in honour of the director at the ZFF in a comprehensive retrospective of his works.

Portrait of Til Schweiger

Golden Eye Award

Til Schweiger

Til Schweiger’s journey to becoming one of the most influential cult figures on the German film scene began in 1991 with the TV series LINDENSTRASSE, and his first cinema film MANTA, MANTA.

After receiving the Max Ophüls Prize for Best Emerging Actor, his breakthrough came with the Bambi Award-winning DER BEWEGTE MANN. He has since not only appeared in such Hollywood productions as INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009), but also worked as a director, screenwriter and producer on such unparalleled (tragi)comedies as KEINOHRHASEN (2007) and HONIG IM KOPF (2014). Til Schweiger will be in Zurich to receive the Golden Eye in person on October 2 and present his latest film GOTT, DU KANNST EIN ARSCH SEIN!.

Portrait of Olivia Colman

Golden Eye Award

Olivia Colman

Even before her Academy Award-winning performance playing Queen Anne in Yorgos Lanthimos’ historical drama THE FAVOURITE (2018), Olivia Colman was regarded as one of the most outstanding artists of her craft.

Her breakthrough came in 2011 when she appeared in TYRANNOSAUR. Colman has since thrilled audiences in a selection of theatre and film projects, and garnered wide critical acclaim for her appearances in numerous award-winning TV series. A recipient of the Order of the British Empire for her services to the arts, she can currently be seen in the world-class Netfix series THE CROWN. Olivia Colman will receive the Golden Eye on the occasion of the screening of THE FATHER, which sees her perform alongside Anthony Hopkins. The award ceremony with take place with a live-stream connection to Olivia Colman in London.

You can get up-close and personal with the ZFF Guests in Zurich at the following events: 

At Sechseläutenplatz, the hub of the ZFF, the Green Carpet is rolled out to cue the start of the festival. This is where our guests appear to the delight of their fans and the general public_local, pose for photos and give interviews as they make their way to the movie theatre. Whether you plan to visit the Green Carpet or just happen to be strolling past Sechseläutenplatz, the chances are you'll cross paths here with a world-class star.  

As part of the ZFF Masters, our audience finds itself in a cinema theatre to listen to talks with actors, directors, screenwriters or other film workers. In addition to offering insights into their creative work, guests often recite amusing anecdotes from their personal careers and are also available to answer audience questions.

Each year, the Gala section of the ZFF presents top-class auteur films with mass audience appeal and invites film workers to present their productions in person. This framework allows us to welcome numerous guests who answer questions before or after presenting their films to the public_local. This direct contact with film workers sets the ZFF cinema experience apart from the everyday cinema visit.

With film as its focus, the ZFF Talks series offers experts from various sectors the opportunity to explore controversial issues currently affecting the fields of culture, science and politics. The ZFF Talks are free of charge, open to the public_local and are announced together with the festival programme.

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