Zurich Film Festival offers other festivals a carte blanche

The Zurich Film Festival offers five Swiss festivals unable or only part able to implement their physical editions a carte blanche to present a film in Zurich. The initiative emphasizes the great cohesion between the events and their common commitment to the seventh art.

In a sign of solidarity for other Swiss film festivals that were unable to implement their physical edition due to the corona pandemic, the 16th Zurich Film Festival (September 24 to October 4) offers the film festivals of Locarno, Nyon, Freiburg, Basel and Neuenburg a carte blanche to present a film as part of the ZFF’s “Solidarité Festivals” initiative that they would have had in their programme or they consider important to them. “The idea for this initiative came spontaneously on the day that Locarno was forced to cancel its physical edition with screenings on the Piazza Grande.” explained Artistic Director Christian Jungen. “Every one of our programmers love these festivals so we want to offer this carte blanche as a sign of friendship and solidarity.” The ZFF believes that it is crucial to work and stand together for the sake of the seventh art during what is an extremely difficult time for the entire film industry. Because the 5 films will be presented personally by each of the festival’s respective directors, we offer them the opportunity to present their chosen film and tell us their own thoughts about “Solidarité Festivals” in this media release.

Visions du Réel – International Film Festival Nyon
DAVOS (2020) by Daniel Hoesl and Julia Niemann
Saturday, 26 September, 21.00 at Arthouse Piccadilly

“Visions du Réel is both delighted that the Zurich Film Festival will go ahead, and looking forward with excitement to Christian Jungen’s first edition. Solidarity between festivals and professionals in general is essential during times like these. We are particularly happy, therefore, that DAVOS – which captivated the public and represents our festival emblematically – will, thanks to the ZFF, profit from a physical screening in Switzerland,” commented Emilie Bujès, Director Visions du Réel.

Locarno Film Festival
LA NOTTE DI SAN LORENZO (1982) by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
Monday 28 September, 18.00 at Arthouse Le Paris

“Yes, we were rivals. No, we’re not anymore. We have taken separate paths over the past few years, Locarno being somewhat more cinéphile and focused on independent production, while Zurich is putting a focus on interesting personalities from the international film world” explains Marco Solari, President Locarno Film Festival, about the “Solidarité Festivals” project, adding:” There is enough room in Switzerland for several festivals, as long as we respect each other’s identity and offer each other our mutual support. This project by Christian Jungen, who has inherited an absolute gem from his predecessors, should be seen as a foundation for the future. Marco Solari has chosen to wait and tell the public in person why he selected this particular film.

Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF)
SCHLAF by Michael Venus
Tuesday, 29 September, 18.30 at Arthouse Piccadilly

“SCHLAF by Michael Venus represents the best of European cinema in the field of fantasy. It offers a fascinating and very personal vision of the chimeras that haunt us in our sleep, while at the same time being an effective horror film. Gro Swantje Kohlhof and Sandra Hüller deliver a dazzling interpretation of a mother-daughter duo who confront the past and its ghosts with strength and courage. SCHLAF is a cinematic experience that leaves no one unmoved. I am delighted that the ZFF audience can discover the style of an emerging author with major talent”, says Artistic Director Anaïs Emery.

Bildrausch – Filmfest Basel
MOFFIE (2020) by Oliver Hermanus
Wednesday, 30 September, 21.00 at Arthouse Piccadilly

“MOFFIE is a true affair of the heart for Bildrausch! It is equally tender and powerful in its emotion, imagery and sound – a momentous film about masculinity, homosexuality and white supremacy that is without doubt Oliver Hermanus’ masterpiece. MOFFIE was due to celebrate its Swiss premiere screening in our International Competition section. We’re delighted that, despite having had to cancel Bildrausch, we now have the opportunity to present the film to the Swiss public at the ZFF,” says Nicole Reinhard who directs the Bildrausch – Filmfest Basel with Beat Schneider; “we thank the ZFF and Christian Jungen for this chance, and for their sign of solidarity towards other festivals, movies and their makers.”

Internationales Filmfestival Freiburg (FIFF)
KOVAN/THE HIVE (2020) by Eylem Kaftan
Friday, 2 October, 18.00 at Arthouse Piccadilly

“We feel honoured at receiving this invitation from the ZFF and its astute Artistic Director Christian Jungen. The ZFF has long since carved out its own path and established itself under both sceptical and inquisitive eyes on the Swiss festival landscape,” announced Thierry Jobin, Artistic Director FIFF, “we will not forget this act of solidarity. KOVAN (THE HIVE), which we would have presented in our 2020 competition section, will now get its Swiss premiere screening thanks to them. It is the first feature-length fiction film by Turkish director Eylem Kaftan. We fell in love from the very start with her disturbing family drama, which actress Meryem Uzerli embodies with absolute grace.”

The 16th Zurich Film Festival takes place from September 24 until October 4 subject to our Hygiene and Safety Measures. The entire programme will be announced on September 10, both on our website and our festival app Tribo. Tickets are on sale from September 14.