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Zurich Film Festival Preview

Zurich Film Festival 2012
The city formerly known as "Downtown Switzerland" is going to turn Hollywood once again for the annual Zurich Film Festival. From Sept 20 - 30, the organizers are going to roll out the green carpet and deck Zürich with their iconic "golden eye" flags.

Based on what I have learned at the presentation to the press, the 8th edition of the Zurich Film Festival is looking very promising indeed! For one, we can expect guest appearances from Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, Oliver Stone, John Travolta and Herbert Grönemeyer.

Sure, the appearance of at least one of these celebrities is quite controversial... But regardless, I think that the Zurich Film Festival has managed to assemble a respectable line-up of major celebrities.

Films by Day and Night

While I have covered the Zurich Film Festival for Newly Swissed last year, I am truly stunned by the number and diversity of films this time around!

No less than 111 films from 22 countries will be competing in four major contests - that's a lot of movies in 11 days! In addition, there will be several world premieres, special tributes (Grease, anyone?), a film music competition as well as talks with actors, directors and producers.

2012 Movies I Cannot Miss

Zurich Film Festival 2012 - Selection
The Imposter
A documentary centered on a young Frenchman who convinces a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who went missing for 3 years. (IMDB)

A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help. (IMDB)

End of Watch
Two young officers are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a routine traffic stop. (IMDB)

My advice: For the first time, the ZFF has launched a valuable movie pass. Given that movie tickets in Switzerland can easily cost 20 Francs and up, this pass breaks down the admission to 12 Franc for up to 10 films from the competition!

More Information

- Zurich Film Festival Program
- Zurich Film Festival Competition Card (10 films for CHF 120)

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators. Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.


  • > ” the Zurich Film Festival is looking very promising indeed”

    Well, if you call the invitation of one of scientology’s flagship (John Travolta) promising, then I really doubt that the movies are recommendable.
    Me, on the other hand, I would rather very much appreciate, if the authorities would act exactly the same way as they did, when Mr. Polanski arrived at the airport 2009 and put him into jail.
    Or at least, they just put him back on an airplane to where he comes from. We do not need this kind of mentality here.

    On the other hand, do not forget that this festival is mainly sponsored by Credit Suisse, since the festivals’s managing director, Nadja Schildknecht, a former Miss Switzerland, is the wife of Credit Suisse’s President Urs Rohner.

    Probably, Mr. Travolta assures with his visit that his Swiss offshore accounts stay untouched and unrevealed??

  • Martin, we don’t care about all that. A film festival should be about the films, not about all the BS and everyone’s personal beliefs and issues with various organizations etc. Art should be beyond that.

    If you cannot get past your religious intolerance and political/socio-economical beliefs to simply try and enjoy, just skip it. But please don’t be a spoil sport and try to ruin everyone else’s fun and enjoyment.

    Dimitri, thank you for the informative post. I haven’t managed to attend the film festival yet since I moved back, but I’ll definitely try to change that this year.
    “The Imposter” and “The world before her” look very interesting!

  • Well Elisa,

    > we don’t care about all that.
    That’s exactly the source of a lot of problems on this world and not surprisingly mentioned by an US-american, first of anything else. It precisely reflects both, the shockingly wide-spread attitude of US-americans regarding the non-“domesticated” world, and very often as well the US government’s foreign policy.

    > Art should be beyond that.
    If you really believe that art in general, and movies in particular, are (socio-)political independent/transparent, than I assume you pretend to be more naive than you actually really are.

    > your religious intolerance
    You are actually quite right, I am not into religion at all, independent of what kind of colour, shape, and source. But probably again, it is your US-american bias that leads you to assume that scientology is a religious group than just a sectarian, misanthropic organisation. Well, at least Germany keeps to have them under observation, and probably not for fun.

    > try to ruin everyone else’s fun and enjoyment.
    Of course, this is not my first, second and third intention. Though, if your only interest is to have fun as much as possible regardless of its implications, you are not any bit better than a Mr. Polanksi, who already showed in his life that he just takes what pleases him, regardless what his focused victims are saying and how they feel about it – if they get the possibility to express their intentions, wishes, and sovereignty at all.

Dimitri Burkhard

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