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From the Robber Hotzenplotz to Winnetou: Exciting films for Kids

JOURNEY TO YOURLAND at Zurich Film Festival

Ten films aimed specifically at children and youths aged between 4 and 14 will be screened at the 18th Zurich Film Festival (Sept 22-Oct 2). The list of titles includes the Swiss films DE RÄUBER HOTZENPLOTZ and COLOMBINE. Also screening will be a short film made by the kids in the new ZFF for Kids-“Studio by Generali &”. They will also as part of a ZFF for Kids-Workshop produce the brand-new music video for the singer Stefanie Heinzmann.     

At the first-ever ZFF for Kids “Studio by Generali &”, 10 children spent six months learning how to make a professional film. They developed their own story, wrote the script, played the main roles, directed the cast and operated the camera. And a major highlight of the project comes when the finished film HENRIETTA has its premiere at this year’s ZFF. Thanks to the collaboration with Generali Switzerland and its music promotion programme “Lion Kids by Generali and Swiss Music Awards” the latest song from Lion Kids ft. Stefanie Heinzmann “Our Time is Coming” is also the theme song of HENRIETTA, and will be performed for the first time by Stefanie at the premiere.

As a further highlight, the brand-new music video to accompany the song will also be shot during several of the numerous “ZFF for Kids” workshops. The shoot will take place on September 10 and 11 at Folium Sihlcity and is implemented by Generali Switzerland. Interviews with Stefanie Heinzmann will be possible on both days. Please contact [email protected] directly with “ZFF for Kids: Interview” in the subject line. Additional interviews are possible at the world premiere of the short film and title song on 25 September at Arena Cinemas Sihlcity.

It has been the aim of the Zurich Film Festival for many years now to awaken a passion for cinema and an interest in the language of film in kids and adolescents. In its “ZFF for Kids” section, the festival presents nine culturally valuable children’s films from around the globe. “Particular emphasis is placed on encouraging exchange between kids, experts and film workers. Guests attend every screening, and are on hand to answer questions and help put content into context,” says Christian Jungen, Artistic Director of the Zurich Film Festival. “This is particularly true for the film DER JUNGE HÄUPTLING WINNETOU, which led to an exciting debate, one that we will return to in the discussion that follows the screening.”

In addition to light and entertaining films, a special focus this year is also placed on films that explore current affairs and broach challenging topics. Examples include the world premiere screening at ZFF of COLOMBINE, the story of a girl’s search for her father; HENRIETTA addresses the subject of mobbing, and MY ROBOT BROTHER tackles the use of electronic devices. The grand premiere of DE RÄUBER HOTZENPLOTZ s guaranteed to make the fun from the popular series of children’s books palpable for everybody at the ZFF.

The complete programme of the 18th Zurich Film Festival will be published on Thursday, September 8, from 12 noon on our Website. Follow us on our social media channels for more updates. Ticket sales start on September 12.

Colombine at zurich film festivalCOLOMBINE

World Premiere
Switzerland, France, 2022
Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard
Cast: Eléa Dupuis, Marie Fontannaz, Jean Aloïs Belbachir, Yvette Théraulaz, Christian Gregori,
Age: Recommended for age 8 or older

Colombine finally wants to know who her father is. But her mother vehemently refuses to tell her. With the help of Mathilde the greengrocer, Colombine obtains a magic potion that transports the 12-year-old several months back in time to the “Fête des Vignerons” wine festival in Vevey. There, Colombine must summon up all her courage to uncover the secret of her father.

De rÄuber hotzenplotz at zurich film festivalDE RÄUBER HOTZENPLOTZ

International Premiere
Germany, Switzerland, 2022
Director: Michael Krummenacher 
Cast: Nicholas Ofczarek, Luna Wedler, Olli Dittrich, Heidi Kriegeskotte and August Diehl
Age: No age restriction

This can’t be true! The robber Hotzenplotz has stolen grandmother’s coffee grinder. Together, the friends Kasperl and Seppel devise a plan to retrieve the stolen good, but fall into the hands of the crook. Will the friends still manage to put a stop to Hotzenplotz the robber? Just in time for the 60th anniversary of Otfried Preussler’s classic children’s book, the new film adaptation is released. Fun and excitement guaranteed!

Henrietta at zurich film festival


World Premiere
Switzerland, 2022
Directors: By Kids for Kids
Cast: Julia Guggenberger, Raphael Birlo, Anastacia Imfeld, Elisa Elmali, Carolina Schwarz, Oliva Lange, Marcel Birlo, Alisa Shlomenko
Age: Recommended for age 6 or older

After the death of her father, Emilia moves to the city with her mother. But at her new school, she finds it difficult to connect with the people around her and make friends. Only the curious Wolfgang seems to understand her, and he entrusts her with his turtle Henrietta, who brings about an incredible change in Emilia’s life. HENRIETTA was made in the ZFF for Kids Studio by Generali & and was filmed by kids for kids.

Der junge hÄuptling winnetou at zurich film festivalDER JUNGE HÄUPTLING WINNETOU

Swiss Premiere
Germany, 2022
Director: Mike Marzuk
Cast: Mika Ullritz, Milo Haaf, Lola Linnéa Padotzke, Mehmet Kurtulus, Anatole Taubman, Tim Oliver Schultz
Age: Recommended for age 6 or older

The 12-year-old chief’s son Winnetou still has a lot to learn if one day he is to take over his fathers skills. When Chief Intschu-tschuna announces that the buffaloes that are supposed to get the Apache people through the winter have disappeared, Winnetou sees a chance to gain his father’s respect! Together with his sister and the orphan boy Tom, he embarks on a dangerous adventure to save the Apache people.

Detective bruno at zurich film festival


Premiere in the German-language realm
Poland, 2022
Director: Magdalena Nieć, Mariusz Palej
Cast: Piotr Głowacki, Iwo Rajski, Karolina Gruszka
Age: Recommended for age 8 or older

For his birthday, eight-year-old Oskar receives a clue about a mysterious treasure hunt left to him by his deceased parents. He immediately hires the best detective he knows: The star of the popular TV series “Detective Bruno”. Together, the two embark on a turbulent paper chase and discover far more than just the next clue. A heart-warming family adventure to guess along with!

Icare icarus and the minotaur at zurich film festival


Luxembourg, France, Netherlands, 2021
Director: Carlo Vogele
Production: Nicolas Steil, Jean-Michel Rey
Age: Recommended for age 6 or older

For Icarus, the son of the inventor Daedalus, the island of Crete is full of secrets. When he meets the young minotaur Asterios one day, the two quickly become friends. But when King Minos gives his father a secret mission, Icarus realises that his new friend is in great danger. With enchanting animations, ICARE presents the Greek saga of Daedalus and Icarus as an adventure for young and old alike.

Journey to yourland at zurich film festivalJOURNEY TO YOURLAND

Premiere in the German-language realm
Slovakia, Belgium, Czech Republic, 2022
Director: Peter Budinský
Production: Peter Badač, Barbora Budinská, Jan Hameeuw
Age: Recommended for age 6 or older

With his most faithful companions, a robot and a goldfish, the young and imaginative Riki embarks on important missions. When he finds a magic stone one day, it takes him to the breathtaking parallel world of Yourland. But Riki must fight for this little treasure in order to save Yourland and his own world. A great animated film for all who dare to let their imagination run wild.

Lucy ist jetzt gangster at zurich film festival


Premiere in the German-language realm
Germany, Netherlands, 2022
Director: Till Endemann
Cast: Valerie Arnemann, Violetta Arnemann, Brooklyn Liebig, Lisa Marie Trense, Kostja Ullmann, Franziska Wulf, Kailas Mahadevan, Esther Schweins
Age: Recommended for age 6 or older

10-year-old Lucy is too good for this world! She helps out in her parents’ ice cream parlour and puts a smile on everyone’s face with her dad Pietro’s delicious ice cream creations. But then disaster threatens: The expensive ice cream machine breaks down and the parlour is on the verge of closing. Lucy sees only one way out and plans the top-secret mission “Operation Lucyfer” together with the class crook Tristen. Will it end well?

My robot brother at zurich film festival


Premiere in the German-language realm
Denmark, 2022
Director: Frederik Meldal Nørgaard
Cast: Selma Iljazovski, Philip Elbech, Lars Brygmann, Kristin Holm Joensen
Age: Recommended for age 10 or older

In a not-too-distant future, children have robots as companions. For 11-year-old Alberte, this doesn’t make everyday school life any easier. She is ashamed of her outdated android companion Robbi, who attracts the ridicule of her classmates. When she gets a brand-new model as a present, her popularity soars. But can a robot really be a real friend?

Shabu at zurich film festivalSHABU

Swiss Premiere
Netherlands, Belgium, 2021
Director: Shamira Raphaëla
Production: Nienke Korthof, Willem Baptist
Age: Recommended for age 12, approved for age 6 and older

14-year-old Shabu is bubbling over with creativity and dreams of a great music career, for which he practices a lot. But after wrecking his dear grandma’s car, he is forced to sell water ice in the apartment block to pay for the damage. But the boy with big plans is not alone and finds support from his friends and the warm-hearted neighbourhood. A summery feel-good movie for the whole family.


By: Daniela


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

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

This evening, the prizes of the 18th Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) 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 Ortega 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

Focus Competition: CASCADEUSES

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.

They are hit by cars, have to dive 70 meters into the depths and absorb many a hard blow. For professional stuntwomen Virginie, Petra and Estelle, this is all in a day’s work. In order to perform physically demanding scenes for film and television, they undergo rigorous daily training. But in the male-dominated film industry, stereotypical portrayals of vulnerable women on screen are still common, and even stuntwomen often find themselves in the roles of female victims, while male colleagues embody perpetrators or heroes. In her debut feature, filmmaker Elena Avdija sheds light on an exciting and hard-hitting business in which female actors all too often remain in the shadows.

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 

Christine Vachon (jury president) / director, producer / USA
Fred Baillif / director, screenwriter / Switzerland
Katharina Mückstein / director, screenwriter / Austria
Maria Fantastica Valmori / cutter / Italy
Roger Schawinski / journalist, presenter / Switzerland

Feature film competition los reyes del mundo

Feature Film Competition: LOS REYES DEL MUNDO

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

Young Rá lives on the streets of Medellin with his friends Culebro, Sere, Winny and Nano. But hope is in sight for the gang: The government has granted Rá the right to a piece of land from which his family, like thousands of other Colombians, was once driven off by the paramilitaries. And so, the bunch sets off on the dangerous trip into the Colombian hinterland. It is the beginning of an exciting journey that oscillates between adventure and delirium. Set against the backdrop of Columbia’s spectacular nature, director Laura Mora tells in breath-taking, immersive images and mystical dream sequences of the search by five stray good-for-nothings for happiness and justice.

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, and UNTIL TOMORROW / TA FARDA by Ali Asgari

Asghar Farhadi (jury president) / director / Iran
Clio Barnard / director / UK
Daniel Dreifuss / producer / USA, Brazil
Petra Volpe / director, screenwriter / Switzerland
Piodor Gustafsson / producer/ Sweden

Documentary film competition sam now

Documentary Film Competition: SAM NOW

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

Half-brothers Sam and Reed have always made movies together. Even back when Sam was 14 and his mother left the family one day without any explanation. While father, grandmother and aunts keep silent for years about what happened, and brother Jared loses his drive for life, Sam seems to suffer no pain. Until Reed suggests he go find his mother. What follows is a road trip through Washington, Oregon and California – the beginning of an emotional roller coaster. Using his own Super 8 footage and home movies from his rich family archive, filmmaker Reed Harkness tells with subtle humour of the wounds of separation and the power of reconciliation.

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: THE NEW GREATNESS CASE by Anna Shishova and THE KILLING OF A JOURNALIST by Matt Sarnecki

Alexander Nanau (jury president) / director, screenwriter, cameraman / Germany, Rumania
Atanas Georgiev / producer, director, cutter / North Macedonia
Joëlle Bertossa / producer, director / Switzerland
Nina Numankadić / producer / Czech Republic
Sushmit Ghosh / director / India


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Luca Guadagnino is honoured with the A Tribute to… Award at the Zurich Film Festival

Luca Guadagnino received the A Tribute to... Award.
Luca Guadagnino received the A Tribute to... Award. © Thomas Niedermüller / Getty for ZFF

Italian director and screenwriter Luca Guadagnino was honoured this evening with the A Tribute to… Award, the Zurich Film Festival’s highest prize for an auteur filmmaker. The award was presented to Guadagnino at the gala premiere of his new film BONES AND ALL at the Corso cinema.

The Zurich Film Festival’s highest award for auteur filmmakers, the Tribute to… Award, was presented to Luca Guadagnino this evening on the occasion of his new feature film BONES AND ALL at the Corso cinema. The Italian was very pleased to be able to attend the ZFF for the second time and emphasised: “Thank you so much, thank you Zurich Film Festival, thank you Christian Jungen. I am very touched by your words, very grateful.” Luca Guadagnino explained about his work: “I like to look at things and I like to look at people, very very much. And this job I do, that gathers people, is like a safe space for me, because there I can look at people and I can do something that normally you cannot do, but I am allowed to. And I am very grateful.”

Luca Guadagnino has found his very own place in contemporary Italian cinema with his films: They delight audiences and critics alike, and the director, born in Palermo in 1971, has found a film language that makes him unmistakable. At the latest since his global success CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (2017), which premiered at the Zurich Film Festival, Guadagnino has also become one of the most sought-after directors internationally. 

Christian Jungen, Artistic Director of the ZFF, said: “What I admire about Luca Guadagnino is that he always steps out of his comfort zone and challenges himself – each film is unique and surprises us anew.” He then continued about Guadagnino’s work: “His cinema is perfectly in form because he finds the right visual language, the right rhythm and the right actors for his stories. It is almost impossible to love cinema but disregard Guadagnino.”

BONES AND ALL is a story of first love between Maren (Taylor Russell), a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee (Timothée Chalamet), an intense and disenfranchised drifter, as they meet and join together for a thousand-mile odyssey which takes them through the back roads, hidden passages and trap doors of Ronald Reagan’s America. But despite their best efforts, all roads lead back to their terrifying pasts and to a final stand that will determine whether their love can survive their otherness.

Luca guadagninos latest film bones and all

Luca Guadagninos latest film BONES AND ALL © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Luca Guadagnino convinces with his diversity and surprises his audience again and again: In 2015, Guadagnino did a remake of the 1968 movie LA PISCINE with the title A BIGGER SPLASH; director Jacques Deray created a cult movie starring Romy Schneider and Alain Delon, Guadagnino succeeded this with a remake starring Tilda Swinton that has almost nothing in common with the original and weaves sociopolitical traits into the plot. In 2018, Guadagnino dived headlong into the horrifying spheres of an abominable dance company with his remake of the Dario Argento classic SUSPIRIA. Tilda Swinton was part of the cast for this one, too; the actress is like a common thread that runs through Guadagnino’s work: He created a 35-minute short film from his first encounter with Swinton, which happened to be an interview with her at the Hotel Majestic in Cannes in 2002. Guadagnino’s breakthrough came in 2005 with MELISSA P, the film adaptation of the novel “With Closed Eyes” by Melissa Panarello. His IO SONO L’AMORE – again with Tilda Swinton – received a Golden Globe nomination. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME received four Oscar nominations, with James Ivory winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Zurich Film Festival presents The A Tribute to… Award to auteur filmmakers for their contribution to film history. Former recipients include Paolo Sorrentino, Wim Wenders, Olivier Assayas, Claire Denis, Michael Haneke, Oliver Stone and Maïwenn.

The complete programme of the 18th Zurich Film Festival (22 September to 2 October) is available on  website. 

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ZFF celebrates the Zurich Film Night

ZFF celebrates the Zurich Film Night
Director Laura Kaehr and lead actress Giulia Tonelli from BECOMING GIULIA with Corine Mauch during the Zurich Film Night. © Zurich Film Festival

The Zurich Film Festival turns the spotlight on Switzerland’s film capital: The Zurich Film Stroll – a tour along the value chain of the filmmaking business – took place yesterday. Companies opened their doors to offer interested visitors unique insights into the world of filmmaking. At the end of the day, guests from film and politics gathered together for the Zurich Film Night, where director Laura Kaehr joined Felix von Muralt and Stéphane Kuthy in a panel to present the interplay between directing and camera work, using the example of their documentary BECOMING GIULIA.

Domestic filmmaking proves its value at the ZFF. The Zurich Film Night is a collaborative event between the ZFF and the Zürcher Filmstiftung that highlights the economic and social importance of filmmaking. Christian Jungen, ZFF Artistic Director, opened the Film Night at the Folium and in his speech drew attention to the highly prevalent film culture in the city of Zurich, “Even international guests visiting the Zurich Film Festival are amazed at the great cinema city that we are.” The festival wishes to impact not only internationally, but on a local level, too. “We want to be a platform of exchange where the population can also come into contact with the local film scene.” said Jungen.

Mayor of Zurich and president of the Zürcher Filmstiftung Corine Mauch was equally pleased and proud about Zurich’s film culture, “I’m delighted to hear that international guests have noticed that Zurich is a city of culture, and also that culture is very important to us.” The aim of the Zurich Film Night is to celebrate this, “This Film Night, we want to celebrate filmmaking, a filmmaking that plays an important role in our region,” continued the Mayor.

During an entertaining panel, director Laura Kaehr and cameraman Felix von Muralt discussed the close collaboration between director and cameraman, and gave exclusive insights into the challenges of producing a documentary film. The discussion was chaired by Monika Schärer. The guests of the Zurich Film Night then gathered at the Arena Cinema to view BECOMING GIULIA. The screening was followed by a Q&A session that enabled Kaehr and von Muralt to offer a deeper insight into the filming process.

The 3rd Zurich Film Stroll took place during the day. Interested visitors took the opportunity to stroll the entire city in order to gain a behind-the-scenes peek at Zurich’s filmmaking business. Various doers and makers of the Zurich film industry, from production through to distribution, presented their work, including the team of costume designers behind the Swiss production THE ROBBER HOTZENPLOTZ. This year also saw an exclusive guided tour through the city to the original filming locations of ZWINGLI, which was led by Stefan Haupt (director) and Monika Schmid (costume).

Many thanks to the companies that opened their doors yesterday and took part in the Zurich Film Day: 

Aaron Film GmbhAbrakadabra Films AGAtelier – Eis am SeeGlaus&Gut Casting GmbHJingle Jungle AGMaximage GmbH, Rudolf JostShining Film AG, Studio uuuh! KLGSwiss Film School SFSZürcher Filmstiftung 

You can find the entire programme of the 18th Zurich Film Festival (Sept 22-Oct 2, 2022) on website.

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