UPDATED: Appassionata wins audience award and El Ultimo Elvis wins critics’ prize. Festival attracts record audience of 58,000.
The winners at the eighth Zurich Film Festival were unveiled Saturday night at Zurich’s Opera House, with Breaking Horizons (Am Himmel der Tag) by Pola Beck taking the top prize in the German-language feature competition and UK drama Broken by Rufus Norris winning the International Feature Competition.
Breaking Horizons is about a 25-year-old woman who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand and then has trouble accepting the truth when her situation changes. The jury noted that Beck was “able in her diploma work to approach a rarely addressed topic in a highly sensitive, emotionally powerful, coherent and precise manner.”
Broken, which premiered in Cannes Critics’ Week, is about a girls whose world is changed after she witnesses a violent act. The jury praised it as “a moving film that takes the audience on a deeply human and emotional journey.”
In the documentary competitions the winners were Der Prozess (about a trial of animal rights activists) in the German-language category and Bart Layton’s Sundance hit The Imposter (about a man who assumed the identity of a long-missing boy) in the International Competition.
Christian Labhart’s documentary Appassionata, about acclaimed Switzerland-based pianist Alena Cherny who wants to donate a piano to her troubled hometown in the rural Ukraine, won the ZFF Audience Award. Armando Bo’s drama El Ultimo Elvis was the ZFF Critic’s winner.
The 2012 edition, showed signs of growth in Zurich, with the number of films up to 111 from 95 and the number of guests rising to 350 from 215. This year the festival also introduced a German-language film market, ZFF Filmboutique.
The festival’s audience grew to a record 58,000 (up from 2011’s highs of 51,000). Festival co-directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri said: “2012 has been a record year for the Zurich Film Festival, attracting around 58’000 visitors. The introduction of the Film Music Competition and the Filmboutique has meant a further development of the festival in favour of both the public and the industry. The number of world and European premieres has increased significantly on 2011 figures.”
Honorees included Richard Gere, John Travolta, Helen Hunt, Jerry Weintraub and Tom Tykwer.
The ninth edition is planned for September 26 to October 6.
The full list of winners and special mentions is below:
GERMAN LANGUAGE FEATURE FILM
Winner: Am Himmel der Tag / Breaking Horizons by Pola Beck
Special Mention 1: Actors Christine Ostermayer and Karl Merkatz in Coming of Age (Anfang 80)
Special Mention 2: Oh Boy, director Jan-Ole Gerster
GERMAN LANGUAGE DOCUMENTARY
Winner: Der Prozess by Gerald Igor Hauzenberger
Special Mention: Outing by Sebastian Meise, Thomas Reider
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Winner: Broken by Rufus Norris
Special Mention 1: Acting Ensemble from End of Watch
Special Mention 2: Main actress Nermina Lukac in Eat, Sleep, Die
Winner: The Imposter, by Bart Layton
Special Mention 1: El Bella Vista by Alicia Cano Menoni
Special Mention 2: Sofia’s Last Ambulance by Ilian Metev