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Zurich expands industry offerings with new market

Works in progress selections include Horizon Beautiful and Recycling Lily.

Zurich is hosting an industry market for the first time.

The ZFF Filmboutique will showcase a selection of German, Austrian and Swiss productions from the last 12 months, including completed films and works-in-progress. 

“If you’re interested in buying German-language films we are providing a place to do that,” says Zurich’s artistic director Karl Spoerri.

“We thought this would be a good way for Swiss films to get more attention from international buyers and we also wanted to bring more foreign industry to the festival,” he explains. “There are screening days in each German-language territory but no purpose-organised event that combines screenings for German, Austrian and Swiss films.”

Around 30 films will screen in the market and eight projects will participate in a work in progress sidebar, including Horizon Beautiful, the new film from Birthday director Stefan Jager, C-Films’ comedy Recycling Lily, produced by Peter Reichenbach, and work from first time directors.

“We have invited about 40 industry on top of all the festival attendees and so far the response has been great,” enthuses Spoerri.

Thorsten Ritter, executive vice president acquisitions, sales and marketing at Munich-based Beta Cinema is one of the attending industry who is excited about the opportunity: “I’m very positive about the market. Switzerland is a very important market for us, and Zurich is a great place for non-English language filmmaking so it will be really convenient to have a concentrated session of screenings in which I can immerse myself. I’m looking forward to meeting local distributors and networking with other industry.”

Ann Kristin Westerberg, COO, rights and international sales at Stockholm-based Svensk agrees: “It’s always useful to see how different markets operate. We try to make personal trips to see our clients so Zurich’s Sweden Focus, in which we have two films, provides a good opportunity for us to do that.”

As with the festival as a whole, the plan is for growth: “We definitely want to develop this section,” concludes Spoerri. “We’ll see how this first edition goes and then think about how we can make it bigger and better.”

The ZFF Filmboutique takes place at Arena Filmcity September 27-29.

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