Zurich International Film Festival 2013
Posted on Sunday September 29, 2013, 13:27 by Simon Braund in Under The Radar
The 9th Zurich International Film Festival roared off the starting line Thursday night with the regional premiere of director Ron Howard’s Rush, the riveting dramatization of the bitter rivalry between 1970s Formula I drivers Niki Lauda (played by Inglorious Basterds’ Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). Brühl was there for the red (actually green) carpet event, accompanied by co-star Alexandra Maria Lara (who plays Lauda’s wife, Marlene) and screenwriter Peter Morgan.
The screening was followed by a lavish afterparty at - where else? – swanky department store Globus, conveniently located next door to the movie theater. Guests sipped cocktails (and guzzled Taittinger) while feasting on an endless parade of freshly prepared finger food – mushroom risotto and foie gras-in-a-jar being particular favourites – amid the soft furnishings, haberdashery and five-thousand-dollar cappuccino machines. Imagine Oscar night at Liberty, with a miniaturized Harrods food hall in the basement.
Other big-ticket movies screening at ZIFF this year include the Hugh Jackman-starring thriller Prisoners; Alfonso Cuaron’s superior sci-fi flick Gravity, with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock; Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot, with Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth; John S. Baird’s adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel Filth; and Little Odessa/The Yards director James Gray’s The Immigrant, featuring an Oscar-buzzy performance from Marion Cotillard.
In addition, the festival boasts it usual impressive array of films from the region and around the world, many of them competing for a coveted Golden Eye award in the categories of International Feature Film, International Documentary Film, German Language Feature Film, and Documentary Feature Film (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Among those in contention for the International Feature prize are actor-director Valeria Golino’s debut Mile; Ryan Coogler’s highly acclaimed real-life drama Fruitvale Station; and Umberto Passolini’s charming tragi-comedy Still Life, starring Eddie Marsan.
Beyond the competitions, there is ZFF For Children, and the Border Lines section focusing on films addressing border conflicts and humanitarian issues around the globe, presented in collaboration with aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières. Finally, there is New World View showcasing contemporary Brazilian cinema, which promises not only a wealth of vibrant short and feature-length movies but also a storming party!
This year, the festival will also honour Hugh Jackman with the Golden Icon Award; Harrison Ford with Lifetime Achievement; Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner with Career Achievement; and Austrian director Michael Haneke with the A Tribute To… award and a retrospective of his most notable films, including 2012’s Amour, Caché, Funny Games and The White Ribbon.
Stay tuned for more news, and a fascinating chat with Daniel Brühl on the highs and lows of playing Niki Lauda, one of the most brilliant, enigmatic and ruthlessly competitive figures in the history of motor racing.