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ZFF celebrates Spanish cinema


The aroma of paella and the fiery sound of flamenco music are set to fill the air at the Festival Centre this year when Spain is welcomed as the guest country to the 18th Zurich Film Festival (Sept 22 – Oct 2). The ZFF presents 16 works by young Spanish filmmakers in its “New World View” section.

Each year, the Zurich Film Festival turns the spotlight on a country experiencing a new cinematic dawn in its “New World View” section. This year’s choice falls on Spain, and the section will screen eleven films and five short films by mainly young Spanish filmmakers. “Spain is a huge film-producing country that has brought forth masters like Luis Buñuel, Carlos Saura and Pedro Almodóvar,” explains Christian Jungen, Artistic Director Zurich Film Festival. “Now a new generation of young directors, particularly female ones, are telling stories with the utmost urgency about the social tensions in their homeland. It’s their cinema we want to celebrate.”

In it’s section “Window San Sebastián” the ZFF will screen the film MODELO 77 from Alberto Rodriguez, which opens the San Sebastián Film Festival. The Zurich Film Festival not only celebrates Spanish cinema this year, but also the ten-year anniversary of its strategic collaboration with the Spanish A-festival, which overlaps with the ZFF. “Rather than competing against each other, we decided instead to join forces ten years ago,” says Christian Jungen. His colleague José Luis Rebordinos Director San Sabastián Film Festival adds, “The collaboration helps to better promote Swiss cinema in Spain and Spanish cinema in Switzerland.”

ZFF is expecting many Spanish film workers, including the young actress María Cerezuela, who was already at last year’s ZFF with MAIXABEL, a film about coming to terms with ETA terrorism, and appears on this year’s campaign poster for the 18th edition of the ZFF.

The Zurich Film Festival will show a total of 16 Spanish Productions this year, as well as a block of five Spanish short films screened in collaboration with the Kurzfilmtage Winterthur.

The guest country will also be present at the festival in culinary and musical terms. There will be an exhibition at the Spanish Consulate with photos of all the Spanish filmmakers who have already presented their films been at the ZFF. In cooperation with the Spanish Embassy in Bern and the Spanish Consulate in Zurich as well as the Spanish tourist office Turespaña and Catalan Films, the ZFF is organising events to celebrate Spanish culture. A Noche española with a screening at Kino Kosmos and a rumba concert at Toro Bar will kick things off on Saturday, 24.9. Spanish delicacies such as churros, tapas, Spanish cheese and Jamón ibérico will be served in and around the festival centre.

Official Partner of the “New World View” section are Zurich Airport and Travelhouse.

Swiss Premiere
Spain, 2022
Director: Carla Simón
Cast: Jordi Pujol Dolcet, Anna Otin, Xènia Roset, Albert Bosch, Ainet Jounou, Josep Abad
Cinema release: 29.09.2022

For generations, the Solé family has farmed a peach orchard in the Catalan village of Alcarràs. But according to the landowner’s decision, the peach trees are to be removed from the fields and solar panels erected in their place. Awarded the Golden Bear for Best Film at this year’s Berlinale, director Carla Simón’s magnificently choreographed, highly atmospheric drama immerses us in picturesque landscapes and portrays a multi-generational family caught between tradition and upheaval.

En los mÁrgenes on the fringe


Premiere in the German-language realm
Spain, 2022
Director: Juan Diego Botto
Cast: Penélope Cruz, Luis Tosar, Adelfa Calvo

Rafael is a passionate lawyer who supports underprivileged people but neglects his own family. Cashier Azucena and her family are facing eviction. And Germán doesn’t want to meet his mother because he is ashamed of his poverty. In his gripping social thriller, director Juan Diego Botto weaves together the stories of different people in Madrid. In the leading roles, Oscar winner Penélope Cruz and Luis Tosar embark on a race against time.

La maternal motherhood


International Premiere
Spain, 2022
Director: Pilar Palomero
Cast: Carla Quilez, Ángela Cervantes

What does it mean to be a mother? What does it mean to be a child? At 14, Carla is both. After falling pregnant, the rebellious teenager is sent by social welfare to La Materna, a home for young mothers. There she learns to live with her pregnant classmates and has time to prepare for the role of being a mother. A sensitive and heartbreaking journey into teenage parenthood.

As bestas the beasts

Premiere in the German-language realm
Spain, 2022
Director: Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Cast: Denis Menochet, Marina Foïs, Luis Zahera, Diego Anido, Marie Colomb

Some time ago, the French couple Vincent and Olga settled in a small village in the interior of Galicia and lead a tranquil existence as farmers. Despite their friendliness, the local farmers treat the two strangers with suspicion and disdain – until the situation in the village escalates. In the beautiful setting of the Galician countryside, Oscar-nominated director Rodrigo Sorogoyen stages a high-tension thriller that is as original as it is gripping – a real stunner!

Cerdita piggy


Spain, 2022
Director: Carlota Pereda
Cast: Laura Galán, Claudia Salas, Carmen Machi

Not everyone loves summertime. For Sara, the overweight daughter of a butcher, it only means that she constantly has to deal with nasty taunts from the other girls in the village. When she is once again bullied in the worst possible way after an afternoon at the swimming pool, a psychopath comes to her rescue and promptly kidnaps her tormentors. A superbly staged, highly amusing debut that evolves from a psychological drama into an intelligent horror satire.



Swiss Premiere
Spain, 2021
Director: Clara Roquet
Cast: Maria Morera, Nicolle Garcia, Nora Navas, Carol Hurtado, Vicky Peña

The 15-year-old, well-protected Nora can’t stand another boring summer at her family’s beach house on the Costa Brava. Salvation comes in the form of Libertad, the Colombian housekeeper’s fiery daughter of the same age. As opposite as the two girls are, their friendship soon intensifies – and must remain a secret at all costs. The award-winning feature film debut tells of female youth in the midst of prevailing class differences.

Cinco lobitos lullaby


Swiss Premiere
Spain, 2022
Director: Alauda Ruiz de Azúa
Cast: Laia Costa, Susi Sánchez, Ramón Barea, Mikel Bustamante

Amaia and Javi have just had their first child and are still full of joy. How they are going to organise themselves with regard to work and care is something they have hardly yet thought about. When Javi is absent with work, Amaia sets off to the Basque coast to seek support from her parents – and is faced by the question of her own future. In her debut feature, director Alauda Ruiz de Azúa addresses the challenges young parents are facing today.

Magaluf ghost town


Swiss Premiere
Spain, 2022
Director: Miguel Ángel Blanca
Protagonists: Jordi Vilches

In Magaluf on Mallorca, tourists come and go like the tide. During the vacation season, the tranquil town is overrun by party tourists in search of the ultimate excess. Once the drinking holidaymakers have left, locals like the sometime criminal Rubén or the pensioner Maria and her well-travelled lodger are left behind. Enriched with scenes of fiction and full of subtle, morbid humour, the documentary MAGALUF GHOST TOWN shows us through their eyes the bizarre-seeming world of the vacation resort.



Premiere in the German-language realm
Spain, 2022
Director: Andrea Bagney
Cast: Lourdes Hernández, Bruno Lastra, Francesco Carril

After years abroad, Ramona has moved back to Madrid with her boyfriend, Nico, and wants to finally gain a foothold as an actress. The day before an audition for a promising lead role, she meets the charismatic Bruno. There is a strong and immediate attraction between the two. But Ramona has no idea that she will see Bruno again the very next day – as the director of the film she is auditioning for. Andrea Bagney’s refreshingly charming comedy about love, career – and all that stands in the way of both.

TenÉis que ir a verla you have to come and see itTENÉIS QUE IR A VERLA / YOU HAVE TO COME AND SEE IT

Premiere in the German-language realm
Comedy / Drama
Spain, 2022
Director: Jonás Trueba
Cast: Itsaso Arana, Vito Sanz, Francesco Carril, Irene Escolar

Since Susana and Guillermo moved from the city to the outskirts of Madrid with the intention of starting a family, they have lost contact with their friends Elena and Daniel. When they reunite a good while later, things no longer feel the same. Four thirty-somethings ponder life’s small and big decisions. With charming melancholy and gentle humour, director Jonás Trueba creates a cinematic miniature about unspoken feelings.

Mi vacÍo y yo my emptiness and i


Premiere in the German-language realm
Spain, 2022
Director: Adrián Silvestre
Cast: Raphaëlle Pérez, Alberto Díaz, Marc Ribera, Isabel Rocatti, Carles Fernández Guía, Carmen Moreno

Raphi dreams of a career as an artist and finding the love of her life. But reality is different: The young French woman works in a call centre in Barcelona, struggles through embarrassing dates and is diagnosed with gender dysphoria by her therapist. Before Raphi’s dream can come true, the transwoman must first get to know and accept herself. Adrian Silvestre draws the portrait of his captivating main character with engaging sensitivity.

Shorts from spain at zffShorts from Spain

Despite their summery lightness, these five short films get to the bottom of the Spanish temperament and explore themes such as freedom, stubbornness and fighting spirit. Curated by the International Short Film Festival Winterthur.

LEYENDA DORADA: Chema García Ibarra, Ion de Sosa, 2019, 11`

PLAYA CHICA: Ignacio Vuelta, 2021, 21′

LAS INFANTAS: Andrea Herrera Catalá, 2021, 14′

PANTERES: Èrika Sánchez, 2020, 23′

HELTZEAR: Mikel Gurrea, Heltzear, 2022, 18


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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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