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Zurich Film Festival, Festivalzentrum

Zurich Film Festival

As the economic and cultural metropolis of Switzerland, a place of production and home to a multitude of producers, distributors and filmmakers, Zurich offers a unique environment for a film festival. Over the course of 12 days, the Zurich Film Festival screens approx. 172 films from around the globe, offers cinematic treats to an interested national and international public, and facilitates direct on-the-spot exchange with its competition filmmakers.

The ZFF has become a major player on the festival landscape, and is now a firm fixture in the international cultural calendar. The festival is a celebration of cinema, a celebration for everyone. From the line-up for kids to the ZFF 72 Talent Contest for the next generation of filmmakers, from the International Film Music Competition for f ilm music fans to exclusive client events and dinners – ZFF offers all this and much more.

The 13th Zurich Film Festival delighted the press, industry and audiences alike – over 90’500 enthusiastic visitors, more than ever before, and an advertising value equivalence of CHF 34.5 M provides ample proof of that.

The Zurich Film Festival attracts big names to Zurich and actively promotes young film industry talent. It serves as an ideal and valuable platform that acts as a springboard for the promotion of their work to a broader audience. Such illustrious personalities as:

Ewan McGregor, Daniel Radcliffe, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Harrison Ford, Harvey Weinstein, Cate Blanchett, Tim Bevan, Marc Forster, Michael Haneke, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Helen Hunt, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tom Tykwer, Jerry Weintraub, Herbert Grönemeyer, Frank Darabont, Pietro Scalia, Carlos Leal, Sylvester Stallone, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Laurence Fishburne, Roman Polanski, Jeremy Irons, Steven Frears, Milos Forman, Peter Fonda, Ken Loach, Moritz Bleibtreu etc. and many others also impart their precious knowledge and experience at workshops and talks such as the Zurich Master Class and the ZFF Masters series.

14. Zurich Film Festival from September 27 to October 7, 2018

15. Zurich Film Festival from September 26 to October 6, 2019

Awards for unique cinema

Each year, the Zurich Film Festival honours outstanding personalities from the international cinema scene working in the field of production, directing or acting and presents them with a „Golden Eye“ Award. This award honours film industry greats for their life’s work, career and creative accomplishments.

Award winners (extract): Hugh Grant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Diane Keaton, Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Sean Penn, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman und Sylvester Stallone, Olivier Assayas, Mike Leigh, Claire Denis, Michael Haneke, Roman Polanski, Oliver Stone und Stephen Frears, Jerry Weintraub, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Hans Zimmer, John Malkovich, Kiefer Sutherland, Steve Golin, Helen Hunt.


Zurich Film Festival has been promoting aspiring filmmakers since its inception and has established a variety of programs supporting young talent across different disciplines.

The International Competition forms the core of the Zurich Film Festival. The ZFF Competition presents films by young, aspiring f ilmmakers who compete for the Golden Eye with their first, second or third directing works. These cinematic discoveries often only f ind their way into cinemas after being exposed at the festival.

Further Sections (extract)

_Gala Premieres: The “Gala Premieres” section presents this year’s most highly anticipated international films.

_New World View: Puts a spotlight on a selected production country that has provided some of the most innovative new filmmaking in recent years.

_ZFF for Kids: Outstanding films from around the world aimed at children and families. Films are shown in the original language and simultaneously translated into German.

_International Film Music Competition: Composers from around the globe are given the opportunity to compose a piece of film music for a specified short film.

_Short film competition ZFF 72: „Got what it takes to be a filmmaker?“ – 72-second films created in 72 hours. /

_ZFF Master Class & ZFF Masters: Emerging talents meet the masters of their field during a 5-day intensive programme./

Target group

_Target group: Broad target group, Film fans (arthouse and mainstream films), trendsetters, opinion leaders, art and culture vultures, advertising, f ilm and culture workers

_Geography: Primarily Switzerland, Germany and Austria

_Gender: 54 % male / 46 % female

_Consumer Lifestyle: Innovation savvy, high quality and aesthetic expectations, ecological aspects of consumerism play an ever-increasing role, above average education and buying power, want to be taken seriously as consumers

Sponsors 2017

_Main Partner: Credit Suisse, BMW, UPC

_Co-Partner: Bucherer, Globus, IWC Schaffhausen, Mobimo, Swiss Life, USM Möbelbausysteme

_Public sector: Bundesamt für Kultur (BAK), Kanton Zürich, Stadt Zürich

A list of all our partners can be found at


Festival-Cinemas corso, Arthouse Le Paris, Arthouse Piccadilly, Arena Cinemas, Filmpodium
Events 172 films, 466 screenings, over 100 fringe events (talks, workshops, hospitality, parties etc.)
Visitors per year 90'500 (2016)
  • Zurich Film Festival, Award Night
  • Zurich Film Festival, Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Zurich Film Festival, Cate Blanchett
  • Zurich Film Festival, Daniel Radcliffe
  • Zurich Film Festival, Festivalzentrum
  • Zurich Film Festival, Festivalmusikwettbewerb
  • Zurich Film Festival, ZFF für Kinder
  • Zurich Film Festival, Festivalzentrum
  • Zurich Film Festival, ZFF Masters Woody Harrelson