(top l to r) Assassins, The Big Hit (Un triomphe), Shirley, Kajillionaire
(top l to r) Assassins, The Big Hit (Un triomphe), Shirley, Kajillionaire

The 16th Zurich Film Festival revealed the first ten films in its gala section including the French comedy The Big Hit (Un triomphe) with Kad Merad, Kajillionaire by Miranda July with Evan Rachel Wood and Debra Winger and The Truffle Hunters by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw.

The Zurich Film Festival presents auteur films with audience appeal in its gala section. Despite the pandemic, many films will again be presented personally by the filmmakers this year.

“The selection this year is more diverse than ever,” explains Artistic Director Christian Jungen. “It ranges from Stefan Haupt’s wonderful declaration of love for Zurich Zürcher Tagebuch to the Argentine crowd pleaser The Heist of the Century (El robo del siglo) and the US dramatic thriller Shirley starring Elisabeth Moss.

SHIRLEY

His appointment to the renowned professor Stanley Hyman marks the beginning of a new phase in the lives of Fred and Rose in Vermont. There, Rose makes the acquaintance of Shirley Jackson, the eccentric horror author and wife of the professor, who is currently developing a new novel idea and casts a spell over the young woman.

Director: Josephine Decker
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young, Logan Lerman

ASSASSINS

When the half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un dies unexpectedly of a nerve poison in February 2017 after meeting two women, it is not clear whether the two were victims of political intrigue or trained assassins. Director Ryan White sheds some light on North Korea’s sinister machinations. An exhilirating docu-thriller.

Director: Ryan White

NOWHERE SPECIAL

John’s life revolves entirely around his son, whose upbringing and care he sees as his life’s work. When he learns that he only has a few months left to live, he embarks on a new mission: to find the perfect new family for his son.

Director: Uberto Pasolini
Cast: James Norton, Daniel Lamont, Eileen O’Higgins

KAJILLIONAIRE

Miranda July’s wonderfully comical portrait of a young woman’s self-discovery revolves around Old Dolio, who has been trained by her parents, themselves professional con artists, to swindle, cheat and steal all her life. When they spontaneously decide to include the outsider Melanie in their next coup, Old Dolio’s routine is completely turned upside down.

Director: Miranda July
Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Debra Winger, Gina Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins

UN TRIOMPHE (THE BIG HIT)

Due to lack of money, the lovable actor Étienne takes over the direction of a theatre workshop in prison. He quickly grows fond of the prisoners and their staging becomes a chance of success for Étienne, but his actors have to go back behind bars at the end of each performance. French comedy is based on true events.

Director: Emmanuel Courcol
Cast: Kad Merad, Marina Hands, Laurent Stocker, Wabinlé Nabié, Sofian Khammes, Pierre Lottin

ZÜRCHER TAGEBUCH

World premiere

In this essayistic documentary film, Zurich director Stefan Haupt takes us through the changes in his hometown since 1961. Structured like a diary, the film shows us the city from all its sides and takes up topics such as land ownership, the financial crisis or the women’s strike in atmospheric images. A declaration of love for Zurich.

Director: Stefan Haupt

EL ROBO DEL SIGLO (THE HEIST OF THE CENTURY)

During a century’s robbery in Buenos Aires, five men, celebrated by the population as modern Robin Hoods, get hold of over 19 million dollars. The story, based on true events, was filmed by Ariel Winograd into a brilliant thriller with a lot of situation comedy and convincing characters, which has already attracted over 2 million visitors to cinemas in Argentina.

Director: Ariel Winograd
Cast: Diego Peretti, Luis Luque, Pablo Rago, Rafael Ferro, Mariano Argento, Juan Alari, Johanna Francella, Mario Alarcón

THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS

Deep in the woods of Piedmont, the white Alba truffle thrives, which only a small circle of older Italian men and their truffle dogs know how to find. As a result of climate change, deforestation, and the lack of young people taking up the mantle, the truffle hunters’ secrets are more coveted than ever. However, as it soon becomes clear, these ageing men may just hold something much more valuable than even this prized delicacy: the secret to a rich and meaningful life.

Director: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw

EDEN FÜR JEDEN

World premiere

When Nelly and her slightly demented grandmother Rosmarie are given notice to leave the apartment, the two move into their allotment garden out of necessity. While Nelly fights a small war with Franco, the president of the family garden, she unwittingly shakes the secret that once divided her family. A feel-good comedy that shows the allotment garden as a mirror of multicultural Switzerland.

Director: Rolf Lyssy
Cast: Steffi Friis, Heidi Diggelmann, Andreas Matti, Marc Sway, Pablo Aguilar, Suly Röthlisberger

NUEVO ORDEN (NEW ORDER)

In this riveting, suspenseful dystopian drama, a lavish upper-class wedding goes awry in an unexpected uprising of class warfare that gives way to a violent coup d’etat. As seen through the eyes of the sympathetic young bride and the servants who work for- and against- her wealthy family, NEW ORDER breathlessly traces the collapse of one political system as a more harrowing replacement springs up in its wake.

Director: Michel Franco
Cast: Naián González Norvind, Diego Boneta, Mónica Del Carmen, Fernando Cuautle, Darío Yazbek, Eligio Meléndez

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