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ZFF Closing Figures – Huge Success with 85’000 Visitors

ZFF Closing Figures – Huge Success with 85’000 Visitors

Zurich, October 4, 2015

With 85’000 visitors (previous year: 79’000), the ZFF saw a renewed increase of 7.5% in visitor numbers. The fest also experienced healthy growth in all other areas: 161 films (previous year: 145), approximately 460 guests (previous year: 450) from around the globe and a budget of 7.1 M (previous year: 6.9 M).

Said the festival’s directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri: “We are happy with this year’s 11th edition of the festival. We had eleven festival days of glorious sunshine that shone in every respect across the whole board. We were able to increase visitor numbers thanks to an additional festival cinema, the slightly more extensive film programme and lots of sell out screenings.”

“We feel we are on the right track with our competition programme and its young cinema”, said programme director Karl Spoerri. “We showcase works with a unique artistic language that also bring current political issues to the big screen. The Golden Eyes bestowed upon such socially engaged films as HRÚTAR, LOS REYES DEL PUEBLO QUE NO EXISTE and THANK YOU FOR BOMBING, and the prizes given to the Swiss films THE MIRACLE OF TEKIR and AMATEUR TEENS prove that our programme keeps pace with the times.”

Mike Leigh and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Saturday evening’s Award Night at Zurich Opera House saw the bestowing of the awards upon the various winning films of this year’s ZFF. The Golden Eye in each of the three competition categories went to young, socially engaged film from Iceland, Mexico and Austria, the Critics’ Choice Award went to Switzerland and Spain, and the two Audience Awards went to Switzerland and Estonia.

The highlight of the evening came in the form of the bestowing of the “A Tribute to… Award” upon British film director Mike Leigh, who is known to cinema audiences around the world for such films as HIGH HOPES (1988), SECRETS AND LIES (1996), VERA DRAKE (2004) and most recently MR. TURNER (2014). Leigh said in his moving acceptance speech that cinema is a “collective process” and that his colleagues and actors are always like a family to him.

Last Wednesday saw the Austrian-American film actor Arnold Schwarzenegger receive this year’s Golden Icon Award to great public hype. The actor, politician and environmental activist had plenty of time for his fans, chatted in a public conversation about his life and career, and departed with his famous words: “I’ll be back!”

The ZFF continued to honour further cinema greats this year with Armin Mueller-Stahl (Lifetime Achievement Award), Steve Golin (Career Achievement Award) and Kiefer Sutherland and Liam Hemsworth (Golden Eye Award). Internationally renowned film directors such as Alejandro Amenábar, Anton Corbijn, Todd Haynes, Jean-Jacques Annaud and Stephen Frears, and such star actors as Christoph Waltz, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes, Ellen Page and Maria Furtwängler graced the ZFF with their most recent productions.

Audience Award to AMATEUR TEENS

The juries of the three competition sections gave their Golden Eyes to the feature film drama HRÚTAR by Grimur Hakonarson from Iceland, the debut documentary film LOS REYES DEL PUEBLO QUE NO EXISTE by Mexican Betzabé García, and the European premiered Austrian feature film THANK YOU FOR BOMBING by Barbara Eder.

The Emerging Swiss Talent Award for a Swiss film went to the world premiered feature film THE MIRACLE OF TEKIR by Ruxandra Zenide, and the Critics’ Choice Award went to the debut work PIKADERO by Ben Sharrock. Finally, the Audience Award went to Niklaus Hilber for his feature film AMATEUR TEENS.

The 12th Zurich Film Festival takes place from Thursday, September 22 until Sunday, October 2, 2016. See you there!

For more information visit www.zff.com

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