The 18th Zurich Film Festival (Sept. 22 – Oct. 2, 2022) celebrates cinema from the Iberian Peninsula and dedicates its “New World View” section to young Spanish filmmaking. Befittingly, Spanish shooting star María Cerezuela is the campaign face on this year’s festival poster. The Goya-winner was photographed by leading Swiss photographer Gabriel Hill during a photoshoot in Zurich.
The smell of paella and the sound of flamenco music is set to fill the air at Sechseläutenplatz this year when Spain is welcomed as the guest country to Switzerland’s biggest film festival, which takes place from September 22 until October 2, 2022. The ZFF will present 12 films by young talents from the Iberian Peninsula. “Spain is a huge film-producing country that has brought forth masters like Luis Buñuel, Carlos Saura and Pedro Almodóvar” explains Christian Jungen, Artistic Director Zurich Film Festival. “Now a new generation of young directors, particularly female ones, are telling stories with the utmost urgency about the social tensions in their homeland. It’s their cinema we want to celebrate.” One of the works that will be screened as a Swiss premiere is ALCARRAS by Carla Simón (*1986) from Barcelona. Her social drama, which won a Golden Bear at the Berlinale, tells the story of a family of peach farmers whose existence is threatened by globalisation.
A multitude of guests from Spain are expected at the ZFF. One Spanish shooting star who has already been in Zurich for the ZFF is María Cerezuela. The leading actress from MAIXABEL, the award-winning Basque movie which screened at last year’s ZFF, came to Zurich in April to attend a photo shoot. She is now the campaign face on this year’s festival poster. “María is a charismatic character actress and one of the leading faces in Spain’s cinematic reawakening. She scooped the Goya, the Spanish equivalent of the Oscar, for Best Female Newcomer after starring in last year’s ZFF movie MAIXABEL,” says Christian Jungen. “She exudes optimism, confidence and boundless energy in the movie – just like we do at the ZFF. This is now the third time in a row that we have chosen a young acting talent to be on our poster, a fact that underscores our commitment to supporting young cinema talent.”
The Basque actress María Cerezuela (*1993) feels honoured to have been chosen for the campaign. “This is a huge step in my career. I could never have imagined that my work would lead to something like this. I am grateful that such an important festival is committed to making emerging talent visible, it is a decision that I admire.” says Cerezuela. She continued, “Zurich is a wonderful and elegant city and a place I felt immediately at home in. The beautiful Old Town, the surrounding mountains, the river and even the weather reminds me of Bilbao.”
Cerezuela was photographed by renowned Swiss photographer and long-term ZFF collaborator Gabriel Hill, who also captured last year’s campaign subject: the Danish newcomer actress Sandra Guldberg Kampp. “It’s great fun to work for the ZFF, and also a great honour. Because the festival has a huge global reach, particularly in the USA, it means the subject will not only be hard to miss in Zurich, but also worldwide on social media. It was great to work with María, she is a very warm person and an absolute professional. Therefore, it was a very pleasant and uncomplicated collaboration for me.”
The Zurich Film Festival not only celebrates Spanish cinema this year, but also the ten-year anniversary of its collaboration with the Spanish film festival San Sebastian. “San Sebastian is one of the world’s leading A festivals and takes place at the same time of the year as the ZFF. Rather than competing against them, we began instead closely cooperating with the Spaniards ten years ago. The result is a strong strategic collaboration and a wonderful friendship that has developed between us and José Luis Rebordinos and his team,” explains Christian Jungen. “In honour of this Swiss-Spanish friendship, there will be a dinner served with Iberian specialities following the screening of one of the Spanish films.”
José Luis Rebordinos adds: “The San Sebastian IFF is proud and honored by this 10-year collaboration with the Zurich Film Festival, which helps to better promote Swiss cinema in Spain and Spanish cinema in Switzerland. Not only do we have a long-standing friendship, but it also represents for us a strategic agreement with a festival that year after year is becoming an essential part of the European festival scene.”