ZFF Industry welcomes visitors to a brave new world
- Set to take place in physical form, the industry platform of the Zurich Film Festival will investigate how events can continue to happen successfully during a pandemic
As the 16th Zurich Film Festival gets ready to unspool some of its events in physical form, its industry platform, ZFF Industry, headed up by Reta Guetg, is aiming to focus on the new world that lies ahead of us by examining all the things that we will no doubt discuss in the future, but which are happening right now. This year, ZFF Industry will be based on physical events spanning various different sections and will run from 24 September-4 October.
One of the hallmarks of ZFF Industry is the Zurich Summit, which invites its guests to kick-start a new era, particularly because it is the first conference since the lockdown where film-industry leaders will meet again physically to discuss how the industry will continue in the age of the pandemic. For one day, on 26 September, the conference will gather top-tier film professionals along with tech entrepreneurs and financiers to discuss key topics and network in a less digital way than we have become accustomed to recently.
Among the topics that will be touched upon is the future of cinemas in the Netflix era, and how exhibition and distribution can evolve to be more appealing to audiences. Another area up for discussion is the way in which film and TV productions can collaborate across borders to overcome possible limitations. In a similar vein, methods of deal-making and financing during this troubled year will be examined from an international perspective, and compared to facts and figures from the past, while sales companies will present trends in the time of COVID-19 and how they are preparing for the future.
Furthermore, Switzerland’s public media company SRG SSR will present an exclusive sneak preview of Play Suisse, a new streaming platform that will be available in November, while the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) will present its contributions to audiovisual innovation over the past few years. Finally, the key topic in the spotlight at almost all industry events at the moment is the re-invention of the festival circuit: is hybrid the way to go, and how can festivals adapt to and learn from the experiences of the past few months?
Some of the confirmed speakers include Paolo Moretti (artistic director, Directors’ Fortnight), Mikael Fellenius (VD/CEO, Film i Väst), Lili Hinstin (artistic director, Locarno Film Festival), Susan Wendt (CEO, TrustNordisk), Graham Broadbent (founder and producer, Blueprint), Vincent Maraval (co-founder and executive, Wild Bunch International), Stéphane Célérier (head, Mars Film), Cecile Gaget (former head, Gaumont) Kim Magnusson (CEO, Dansk Film Kompagni) and Danny Perkins (CEO, Elysian Film Group), among others.
Another physical event, the Zurich Market initiative, will also be attempting to revitalise the global film industry. In partnership with the San Sebastián Film Festival, the film market for independent productions will run from 25-28 September with approximately 20 new titles set to be presented to interested buyers and festival programmers at specialised market screenings, while sales companies will arrive in Zurich to present their upcoming titles (see the news).
Running since 2006, the ZFF Academy’s core objective is to promote up-and-coming directors, producers and scriptwriters hailing from around the globe, under the motto “Explore, Connect, Collaborate”. Despite the limitations currently being imposed, the five-day talent-promotion programme will run from 30 September-4 October, including master classes and work-in-development sessions for the 19 talents selected. You can find more information about all of said talents here.
As for the parallel programmes and initiatives, SoundTrack_Zurich, the specialised event for film and media music (see the news), is also on the menu. Furthermore, the project showcase and third module of the Audience & Market Strategies training initiative by FOCAL will run during ZFF Industry, where seven seasoned Swiss producers with a film project in development and two film-industry professionals have been developing marketing, distribution, sales and festival strategies for their films. For more information, click here.
Leading FeMales in Film is another event set to unspool, where the image and role of women in today’s film industry will be analysed and the importance of the female voice will be discussed. At this edition, Swiss filmmakers Sabine Boss (Open Season [+see also:
film profile]) and Bettina Oberli (My Wonderful Wanda [+see also:
interview: Bettina Oberli
film profile]), producer and creative director of Left Bank Pictures Suzanne Mackie, and director Philippa Lowthorpe (Misbehaviour [+see also:
film profile]) will share their experiences in a discussion moderated by Monika Schärer and will be introduced by Zurich Film Festival artistic director Christian Jungen and philanthropist Carolina Müller-Möhl (of the Müller-Möhl Foundation).
Finally, this year’s ZFF Masters strand will shine the spotlight on legendary Swiss director Rolf Lyssy, the recipient of the Career Achievement Award; US composer Ray Parker Jr; French actress Juliette Binoche and German thesp Til Schweiger, who will both receive the Golden Eye Award along with Olivia Colman; and French actress-screenwriter-director Maïwenn, who will enjoy a special tribute at the Zurich Film Festival.
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