Zurich Film Festival returns with focus on women in cinema

This year's edition features a total of 160 productions, including 41 debut works and 12 world premieres.

Zurich Film Festival returns with focus on women in cinema
The directors of the Zurich Film festival present the programme for the 13 edition at a press conference on September 14th. Photo: Zurich Film Festival.

Swiss President Doris Leuthard is expected to be present for the opening ceremony at the 13th edition – which this year places a special emphasis on the works of women directors –  on Thursday September 28th in Zurich. 

“We are very proud to be screening no less than 38 films by female directors,” said festival co-director Karl Spoerri in a press release.

Danish actress Trine Dyrholm, star of Thomas Vinterberg's 1998 classic Festen, heads this year's jury.

Glenn Close will receive a Golden Icon Award, as will US actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin will also be honoured, with a Career Achievement Award, at this year's festival. 

The festival programme features a profusion of films from 51 different countries. Some of the highlights include Roman Polanski's Based on a True Story and Downsizing by Alexander Payne. 

Actresses Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche and Rossy de Palma star in some of the main films in this year's competition, while female directors Claire Denis and Sophie Fiennes present new films at the festival. 

“The proportion of women in the three competition sections is even higher at between 35% and 40%. We have nothing to be ashamed of when considering the male to female ratio discussion currently occupying the film industry from Hollywood to Swiss cinema,” commented the organizers.

This year's festival also goes beyond science fiction to look for “bridges” between science and cinema.

The Eye On Science, Life Science Zurich Society is a joint project by the University of Zurich, the ETH Zurich – a research centre – and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

The groups will hold a series of discussions at the festival around the theme of “how to build a bridge between research and film.”

Al Gore will also be in Zurich to present his film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, his sequel to An Inconvenient Truth

Fringe events include exhibitions, an amateur film contest for 72-second films produced in 72 hours, a James Bond-themed music competition and concert, a food lounge, parties and industry-focused events for film professionals. 

Credit Suisse, UPC, BMW and Etihad Airways are the 2017 main partners of the Zurich Film Festival. The festival dates are September 28th to October 8th.

The programme is spread across seven locations in Zurich, with the HQ at Festival Centre

READ MORE: Chinese documentary wins top prize at Locarno film festival



French films with English subtitles to watch in November

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, November is a great month to enjoy a warm and comforting moment at the cinema. Here’s a round up of the French movies with English subtitles to see in Paris this month.

Cinema in France
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

The cinema group Lost in Frenchlation runs regular screenings of French films in the capital, with English subtitles to help non-native speakers follow the action. The club kicks off every screening with drinks at the cinema’s bar one hour before the movie, so it’s also a fun way to meet people if you’re new to Paris.

These are the events they have coming up in November.

Friday, November 5th

Boîte Noire – What happened on board the Dubai-Paris flight before it crashed in the Alps? In this thriller Matthieu, a young and talented black box analyst played by Pierre Niney (star of Yves Saint-Laurent among other movies) is determined to solve the reason behind this deadly crash, no matter the costs. 

The screening will take place at the Club de l’étoile cinema at 8pm. But you can arrive early for drinks at the bar from 7pm. 

Tickets are €10 full price, €8 for students and all other concessions, and can be reserved here.

Sunday, November 14th

Tralala – In the mood for music? This new delightful French musical brings you into the life of Tralala (played by Mathieu Amalric), a 48 years old, homeless and worn-out street singer, who one day gets mistaken for someone else. Tralala sees an opportunity to get a better life by taking on a new personality. He now has a brother, nephews, ex-girlfriends, and maybe even a daughter. But where is the lie? Where is the truth? And who is he, deep down?

The night will start with drinks from 6pm followed by the screening at 7pm at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema. There is also a two-hour cinema-themed walk where you’ll be taken on a “musicals movie tour” in the heart of Paris, which begins at 4pm.

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here. Tickets for the walking tour cost €20 and must be reserved online here.

Thursday, November 18th

Illusions Perdues – Based on the great novel series by Honoré de Balzac between 1837 and 1843, this historical drama captures the writer Lucien’s life and dilemmas who dreams about a great career of writing and moves to the city to get a job at a newspaper. As a young poet entering the field of journalism, he is constantly challenged by his desire to write dramatic and eye-catching stories for the press. But are they all true?

The evening will kick off with drinks at L’Entrepôt cinema bar at 7pm, followed by the movie screening at 8pm. Tickets are available online here, and cost €8.50 full price; €7 for students and all other concessions.

Sunday, November 21st

Eiffel – Having just finished working on the Statue of Liberty, Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris) is tasked with creating a spectacular monument for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. It’s ultimately his love story with Adrienne Bourgès (Emma Mackey) that will inspire him to come up with the idea for the Eiffel Tower.

After a first screening last month, Lost in Frenchlation is organising a new one at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema, with pre-screening drinks at the cinema bar. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here

Thursday, November 25th

Les Héroïques – Michel is a former junkie and overgrown child who only dreams of motorbikes and of hanging out with his 17-year-old son Léo and his friends. But at 50 years old, he now has to handle the baby he just had with his ex, and try not to make the same mistakes he has done in the past. 

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director Maxime Roy who will discuss his very first feature. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here.

Full details of Lost in Frenchlation’s events can be found on their website or Facebook page. In France, a health pass is required in order to go to the cinema.