The 17th Zurich Film Festival kicked off this evening with the world premiere screening of Michael Steiner’s Swiss movie AND TOMORROW WE WILL BE DEAD at the new Zurich Convention Center in front of an audience of almost 1300 guests and at the Corso cinema. Honorary guests Federal President Guy Parmelin and Zurich’s Mayor Corine Mauch emphasised the high quality of the ZFF’s diverse selection, which offers films for mainstream as well as cinephile audiences.
Federal President Guy Parmelin opened the 17th Zurich Film Festival in front of a prominent audience. “It can by no means be taken for granted that we are here physically during these difficult times to enjoy culture live,” he said in his opening speech at the new Zurich Convention Center. Parmelin praised the selection of films at the ZFF and placed particular emphasis on Michael Steiner’s opening film AND TOMORROW WE WILL BE DEAD (UND MORGEN SEID IHR TOT), which had its World Premiere at the Convention Center and the Corso cinema simultaneously, as well as the new James Bond adventure NO TIME TO DIE by Cary Joji Fukunaga. “A bridge is being successfully built in Zurich between sophisticated mainstream and a broad offer for cinephiles,” the Federal President pointed out. “Which is why the federal government has been supporting the Zurich Film Festival as an important institution in Switzerland for many years.”
The Mayor of Zurich Corine Mauch also drew attention to the diverse range of films and the importance of the festival. “The Zurich Film Festival is a place where we get to see the highlights of national and international filmmaking. But there are also many films screened here that, despite their high quality, can be found neither in our cinemas nor via streaming services because the mainstream market works differently. And it is for this reason that festivals like the ZFF are more important than ever. They offer many films their best chance to find their audience.”
Christian Jungen, Artistic Director of the Zurich Film Festival, described the opening in the new Convention Center as a “Milestone in the 17-year history of the ZFF”. He said: “We are taking a huge step in challenging times. We now have a festival palace – similar to Cannes and Berlin – just a stone’s throw away from Sechseläutenplatz, where our Festival Centre stands and where the Corso and Le Paris cinemas are located. We can screen here to some 1300 visitors, which opens up a great growth perspective.”
Shot in Spain, India and Switzerland, the Zurich Film Festival opened with the World Premiere screening of Michael Steiner’s major production AND TOMORROW WE WILL BE DEAD (UND MORGEN SEID IHR TOT). In the thriller, Steiner recounts the true story of Daniela Widmer (Morgane Ferru) and David Och (Sven Schelker): the swiss couple wanted to fulfil their dream of travelling along the Silk Road through Pakistan when they were kidnapped in war-torn Waziristan and handed over to the Taliban. Few expected them to get out alive: never before had civilians escaped the clutches of the Taliban, but the two Swiss citizens managed the seemingly impossible after eight months in captivity. Both attended the opening of the film adaptation as special guests. Swiss director Michael Steiner, leading actress Morgane Ferru and producer Lukas Hobi (Zodiac Pictures Ltd) also sat in the audience at the World Premiere.
Walking the Green Carpet for the first time was the newly formed Montreux All Star Band with international music greats such as Robert “Bobby” Brown, the guitarist of Toto Steve Lukather, and Freddie Washington, which will play at the Award Night and other events taking place within the framework of the ZFF. Ray Parker Jr, singer Eric Benét and bassist Nathan East will be joining them during the course of the festival. The audience further included a lot of Swiss celebrities, such as Christa Rigozzi, Baschi, Mario Fehr and Lisa Brühlman, as well as the world-famous singer Shania Twain.
The full programme and tickets for the 17th Zurich Film Festival (Sept. 23-Oct. 3) are now available on the ZFF website.
The Festival Centre is open from today for tickets and information. Tickets can also be purchased on the ZFF website and from the ticket booth at Paradeplatz, at blue Cinema Corso and the ticket booth at Sihlcity.