Friday, November 13, 2015

Zurich Film Festival - Our last destination in Switzerland

Our last destination in Zurich was the Zurich Film Festival - the annual film festival is held at the end of September and spills over to October. It attracts thousands of tourists from around the world, specially those already visiting Zurich - and we were one of them in 2014.

Festival centre at Sechseläutenplatz, Zürich

Young tourists and up-and-coming heroes of tomorrow posing

The festival focuses on the work of young up-and-coming filmmakers from around the world to promote their work. However, particular emphasis is placed on the discovery of new talent from the German-speaking world as German is widely spoken in Switzerland.

The Zurich Film Festival is held under the auspices of Spoundation Motion Picture GmbH in cooperation with local sponsor and international distributors and producers. The idea to create an international film festival was the brainchild of Karl Spoerri, who founded the festival together with Nadja Schildknecht and Antoine Monot Jr.. Karl Spoerri (Artistic and Strategic Director) and Nadja Schildknecht (Managing Director) are the festival’s current Co-Directors.

Each evening, the ‘Gala Premier’ section celebrates highly anticipated film premieres by established filmmakers in the presence of cast and crew. Both feature films and large-scale documentaries are presented in this section. The films are screened as world, European, German-language or Swiss premieres.

Poster showing some of the films being shown in the festival

Golden Eye Award is the main attraction of the festival - an award that also comes with 25 000 CHF cash prize (International Feature / Documentary Film) resp. a 20'000 CHF cash prize (Focus). The public chooses its favourite film from all of the competition entries by giving votes to every film. The best voted film receives the festival's Audience Award.

 The state of parking lots being displayed for the ease of drivers finding a parking lot
Zurich Film Festival night at the Zurich Opera House

Each year the Zurich Opera House wars a cloak of brightly coloured lights, dominated by the purples, to host the film festival. When we reached the arena, the guests were arriving amid big applause by the crowd gathered around the welcome shelter.

 Guests being received by Nadja Schildknecht, managing director of ZFF
 Nadja Schildknecht, managing director of ZFF and Swiss entrepreneur 
 Actors posing in front of the ZFF welcome board

The Golden Eye Award for 2015 was presented to the following films in the categories as shown below (Source):

  • International Feature Film Competition: UNA NOCHE SIN LUNA by Germán Tejeira (Uruguay)
  • International Documentary Film Competition: TOTO AND HIS SISTERS by Alexander Nanau (Romania)
  • Focus: Switzerland, Germany, Austria: CHILDREN OF THE ARCTIC by Nick Brandestini (Switzerland)
  • Critic’s Choice Award: SVENSKJÄVEL by Ronnie Sandahl (Sweden)
  • Audience Award: ZU ENDE LEBEN by Rebecca Panian (Switzerland)
  • Audience Award for Children’s Film: QUATSCH UND DIE NASENBÄRBANDE by Veit Helmer (Germany)
  • Newly introduced Emerging Swiss Talent Award: Bruno Deville’s BOUBOULE (Switzerland)
The day at Zurich was really lovable and enjoying as we roamed the main streets of the city centre, spent a beautiful evening by the Lake Zurich and the day culminating at the Zurich Film Festival - a hectic day if I may say so. And definitely it was and we were dead tired by the time we finally settled for a few scoops of Swiss novelty: The Movenpick ice cream:

Thus our Swiss tour finally ended with the delicious Swiss ice cream and memories that would always remind us of being there - though for one day but carrying a nostalgia that keeps reminding of Switzerland till date.

Tomorrow we would be leaving for Italy's Milan and Pisa. But there was much more enroute to write on. I will describe the following events in my subsequent posts.

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