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Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) as Springboard ZFF Highlight BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD in Oscars Race Pole Position

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Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) as Springboard ZFF Highlight BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD in Oscars Race Pole Position Zurich

February 21, 2013

Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) screens films and invites honorary guests that make positive headlines throughout the following Awards Season. ARGO and AMOUR triumphed at the Golden Globe Awards and the British BAFTA Film Awards, and joined other films presented in Zurich in 2012, including the ZFF highlight BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, in receiving Oscar Nominations. With an ever-increasing number of ZFF film entries finding their way into local cinemas, the festival can also celebrate its success as a national promoter.

What’s more, success can be measured in retrospect: Zurich Film Festival introduces to its public films and personalities that cause a sensation at the world’s most prestigious big-screen competitions the following year, namely the Golden Globes and Oscars. In its 8th edition, the Zurich-based ‘celebration of cinema’ will present a number of works and invite several guests who are far from unfamiliar with the world of awards and/or are in pole position in the race for one of the 85th Academy Awards’ revered Golden Statues, to be conferred on February 24.

Triumph at the Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards…

Mid-January saw Ben Affleck’s hostage thriller ARGO awarded Best Motion Picture and Michael Haneke’s film AMOUR triumph at the Golden Globes. Affleck also pushed heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino aside to win the race for Best Director, while Haneke’s sensitive romantic drama took the award for Best Foreign Language Film; AMOUR also prevailed in the same category at the British BAFTA Film Awards on February 11. Ben Affleck and his film ARGO snapped up an additional two top-category

BAFTA awards for Best Film and Best Director.

ARGO collected a total of 5 Golden Globe Nominations; Helen Hunt was also nominated for her role in THE SESSIONS, which she presented to the ZFF public in person in 2012. Helen Hunt’s film partner John Hawkes and Richard Gere, who was celebrated in Zurich for his role in ARBITRAGE, also made the top five

. …and Hot Candidates for the Oscars

It came as no surprise to see ARGO and AMOUR in the Oscars race (7 and 5 nominations respectively), but BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

has offered some surprising competition. Benh Zeitlin, it’s shooting-star director and a tutor at one of last year’s most anticipated Zurich Master Classes, has got the Oscar for Best Director well and truly in his sights. A fantastical gesamtkunstwerk, the film also harbours hopes of scooping the awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Familiar to local cinemagoers and causing a bit of a stir are two Best Actress candidates: 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis (BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD) is considered to be the youngest actress, and the 85-year-old, much applauded ZFF guest Emmanuelle Riva (AMOUR), who also won the BAFTA Pendant on February 11, the oldest actress ever to be nominated in this category. Last but not least, Helen Hunt (THE SESSIONS) anticipates the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

An even more impressive success can be seen in the documentary film section: The ZFF public was able well in advance to make up its own mind about two of the five nominated productions screened at ZFF in this section, namely 5 BROKEN CAMERAS and HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE.

Zurich Film Festival as a Platform for the National Cinema Market

Fortunately, numerous productions from last year’s international and German-language competition sections found their way into Swiss cinemas, including OH BOY, END OF WATCH and BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD.

Moreover, the documentary film APPASSIONATA, which won the 2012 ZFF’s Audience Award for its sensitive portrayal of the Swiss immigrant and Ukrainian pianist Alena Cherny, starts in Swiss cinemas on March 7.

The ZFF competition entry PAUL BOWLES: THE CAGE DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN celebrated its premiere at last week’s Berlinale.


For Pufnica.com: Bojana Veljkovic - Tomic, www.zff.com