For The Love Of Cinema - A Recap Of The 12th Zurich Film Festival
Photography by the Lips Brothers, unless otherwise stated. Written by Oliver and Moritz Lips.
The last couple of days have been filled with movie screenings, events and trying to fit in our regular work schedule. That’s why we haven’t really had the time to update the blog, but here we are with a recap of an amazing week spent at the 12th edition of the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF).
Each year the festival surprises with great movies, cool events and activities and last, but not least, national and international actors and actresses, producers and directors. This year Zurich was graced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Uma Thurman, Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, Alexander Skarsgard, Hugh Grant, Woody Harrelson and Daniel Radcliffe, as well as the directors Olivier Assayas, Oliver Stone, Ulrich Seidl, John Michael McDonagh and producers Harvey Weinstein and Marcel Hoehn who received the «Lifetime Achievement Award».
Unlike other film festivals that are only for the industry, this one is open to the public and it’s fantastic to not only see the festival grow each year, but also getting the support and awareness of the people. This year over ninety thousand tickets were sold – a record of which I’m sure is going to be broken next year.
For us the ZFF started on Saturday, September 24th with the IWC Gala Night. Guest of honor was none other than the stunning Uma Thurman who presented the «Filmmaker Award 2016». For this event we were in charge of IWC’s Instagram Stories (@iwcwatches) and had some fun interviews with Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara, model and blogger Xenia Tchoumi and IWC’s CMO Franziska Gsell.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to get Uma directly in front of the camera, but she sends some kisses for you (see below). Definitively a glamorous night to remember under the motto #ForTheLoveOfCinema!
Aside from two we managed to watch all films from our «10 Must-See Movies»-list, but instead squeezed in American Pastoral and L’odyssée. Unfortunately Ewan McGregor’s debut as a director didn’t convince at all, but seemed rather dull and superficial. He had some solid approaches, but wasn’t able to create an interest or sympathy for the main characters throughout his movie. L’odyssée, a biopic about the famous French engineer, inventor, explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau, on the other hand is a classic “Sunday-movie”, which at times felt a bit too long despite gorgeous cinematography and decent performances.
These were our favourite movies that we've seen during the film festival:
When Two Worlds Collide
The documentary is centered around Alberto Pizango, an indigenous Peruvian leader fighting for the rights of his people to keep their land and protect the Amazon rainforest. The film perfectly depicts the struggle of many indigenous people against government and public greed and really makes you think about the effects modern man has on our planet. Underlined with beautiful imagery of the rainforest it goes to show just how important it is to protect and cherish the lungs of the earth for future generations to come!
Swiss Army Man
Riding a dead corpse across the water and using it to light fire and drink water should already tell you that this is not just another desert island movie.
The directorial debut of «The Daniels» convinces with great acting by both Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, a beautiful soundtrack and a story that will keep you thinking “how could anyone come up with that?"
Another festival highlight for us was the latest movie by Oliver Assayas. Featuring Kristen Stewart in the lead, this psychological thriller creates a very eerie and lonely atmosphere, which is perfectly rounded off with a strange ending that left us wondering and discussing the movie long after it had ended.
Powerful performances by many of the first time actors, especially that of Sasha Lane, and a great soundtrack really let you get immersed in the vibe of this road movie, despite or maybe exactly because of it’s long running time of two hours and forty-five minutes.
The movie also features Shia LaBeouf in a leading role that feels like a spot on cast and delivers one of our favorite performances of his yet.
Ten short, but sweet days after the Zurich Film Festival had begun it was already time to gather at the Opera House for the Award Night. As official guests of IWC we watched the Golden Eyes awarded to directors in the categories «International Feature Film», «International Documentary Film» and «Focus Switzerland, Germany, Austria». We were particularly happy to see When Two Worlds Collide by Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel win the «Audience Award» as well as a special mention by the «International Documentary Film»-Jury. We were also pleased to see the winner of the «Filmmaker Award 2015» Jan Gassmann winning the «Emerging Swiss Talent Award» for Europe, She Loves, which we haven’t seen yet, but definitively put on our watch-list.
Following the Award Ceremony that you might have followed on my Instagram Stories or Snapchat we enjoyed a dinner in the company of IWC-CEO Georges Kern, Darya from the blog SwissGlam and other guests and rounded off the night at the after party.
Seeing all the movie-goers sharing laughter, love, tears, astonishment, curiosity and fear once more showed what power movies and documentaries have. They unite, spark a conversation, make us dream and think and ultimately let us take a break from all that’s happening around us - if only for a couple of hours.
A huge thanks to IWC for making this possible as well as equipping us with their beautiful watches and to Hugo Boss and Ermenegildo Zegna for the dashing smokings! We can't wait for the 13th Zurich Film Festival!