Zurich Film Festival 2023

Photo: Cyrill Matter
Photo: Cyrill Matter

The 19th Zurich Film Festival 2023 took place at the Zurich Opera House, recording 130,000 visitors during its eleven days. A total of 150 films were shown, 52 of which were first-time international or European premieres – more than ever before. Stars such as Jessica Chastain, Ethan Hawke, Mads Mikkelsen, and Diane Kruger captivated film fans – and the new Frame cinema, with its six screens, proved to be a crowd pleaser.

Endowed with 25,000 CHF, the “Golden Eye in the Focus Competition” went to the documentary Hollywoodgate by Ibrahim Nash’at. The Turkish drama Hesitation Wound by Selman Nacar won the “Feature Film Competition”, and In The Rearview by Maciek Hamala triumphed in the “Documentary Film Competition”. 

“The aim of the ZFF competition is to discover new directorial talent and make their work known to a broader audience”, explained Christian Jungen, Artistic Director of the ZFF. 

The publicly accessible ZFF Festival Center at Sechseläutenplatz was also home to food trucks, ticket sales points, and accreditation points for industry members and press representatives. Plus, the merch shop – and a new, exclusive star-spotting zone!

On both weekends of the festival, DJs and live music created a unique atmosphere on stage at the Festival Centre. The Green Carpet directly adjoins the Festival Centre, where attendees can get up close and personal with the big stars of today and tomorrow. 

American master director Todd Haynes received the coveted “A Tribute to… Award”, accepting the honorary award during the Gala Premiere of his latest film, May December, on October 3, 2023, at the Zurich Convention Center.

Here, the equally impressive actress Jessica Chastain also accepted her “Golden Icon Award” on October 1, 202, simultaneously presenting her latest film, Memory by Michel Franco, on the same evening.  

The Zurich Film Festival handed out its Golden Eye for “Best International Film Music” to the winner of the 11th International Film Music Competition, Elliot Murphy, at the Tonhalle Zurich. He received the award from the hands of the German film composer Volker Bertelmann – this year’s jury president – who was subsequently honored with the Career Achievement Award.

Other Golden Eye Award winners included Mads Mikkelsen, who presented his Danish frontier western The Promised Land by Nikolaj Arcel, and Diane Kruger, who was honored for her outstanding acting skills while presenting her latest film, Visions by Yann Gozlan.

Stella. Ein Leben Katja Riemann Photo: Pascal Bovey
German filmmaker Wim Wenders Photo: Pascal Bovey
Swiss actor Joel Basman Photo: Eduard Meltzer
"Early Birds" Premiere. Swiss film director Michael Steiner Photo: Eduard Meltzer
FRAME cinema opening Photo: Eduard Meltzer
ZFF Artistic Director Christian Jungen. Photo: ZFF
Opening Night Zurich Film Festival 2023
Mads Mikkelsen Photo: Joshua Sammer
Ethan Hawke Photo: Joshua Sammer
Ethan Hawke Master Talk Photo: Lea Meienberger
Photo: Cyrill Matter
Ethan Hawke Photo: Cyrill Matter
Diane Kruger Photo: Ferda Demir
Photo: Joshua Summer
Mads Mikkelsen Photo: Joshua Summer
Photo: Tim-Hughes
Film director Selman Nacar Filmmaker Ibrahim Nash Photo: Tim-Hughes
ZFF Award Night 2023 Photo: Sarah Kim
ZFF Moderator Max Loong
Kevin Macdonald "High Low John Galliano" Photo: Pascal Bovey
Kevin Macdonald "High Low John Galliano" Photo: Pascal Bovey
Darya von Bergen Photo: Sanjeev Velmurugan
Pegasus Band Photo: Darya von Bergen
Singer Peter Doherty Award Night 2023: Photo: Tim Hughes
Singer Peter Doherty Award Night 2023: Photo: Tim Hughes
ZFF Award Night 2023: Photo: Tim Hughes
ZFF Award Night 2023: Photo: Tim Hughes
ZFF Award Night 2023: Photo: Tim Hughes

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