Master Class Speakers 2017
With EUGEN HEISST WOHLGEBOREN and KONFRONTATION, this Zurich-born, multi-talented filmmaker was an exponent of the ‚new Swiss film’ movement throughout the 60s and 70s. His 1978 film DIE SCHWEIZERMACHER, a satirical look at the Swiss naturalisation procedure, is the most successful Swiss box office hit to date. Rolf Lyssy received the Swiss Film Award’s ‚Quartz’ prize for his life’s work in 2012.
Before moving to New York to study producing at New York University, Tan lived in Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. In addition to her work as a commercial filmmaker for such companies as Giorgio Armani, Heineken and Credit-Suisse, She garnered acclaim for her international award-winning short films DAHDI (2014) and COLD NOODLES (2010). Tan has also worked as a cinematographer on countless other projects. Her feature film debut POP AYE (2017) premiered at Sundance and won the Special Jury Prize.
Xavier Legrand trained as an actor until 2005 at the Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique in Paris, and completed an internship at the film school La fémis before working as a stage actor. His César-winning directorial debut, the short film AVANT QUE DE TOUT PERDRE (2013), which was also nominated for an Academy Award, forms the basis of his debut feature JUSQU’A LA GARDE, which recently premiered in competition at Venice.
The Swiss-Canadian filmmaker Léa Pool was born in 1950 in Geneva. She graduated with a degree in directing in Montreal, where she has since lived. Her best-known cinema films include ANNE TRISTER (1986), EMPORTE-MOI (1998, Swiss Film Award) and MAMAN EST CHEZ LE COIFFEUR (2008). This sensitive storyteller’s LA PASSION D’AUGUSTINE (2015) was a huge hit with audiences in Canada. The film will screen as a ZFF Gala Premiere.
The director, cinematographer and producer Hanna Polak is renowned for her socially engaged documentaries. Her short documentary THE CHILDREN OF LENINGRADSKY (2004) garnered an Academy Award nomination and won numerous festival awards. For her most recent, multi award-winning feature-length film SOMETHING BETTER TO COME (2014), Polak followed a group of children living on a gigantic waste dump near Moscow for a period of 14 years. Hanna Polak has lectured at various film schools and universities, including Yale, and was a jury member at the IDFA and Krakow Film Festivals.
Irish-born Ed Guiney is the co-founder and Managing Director of the production, distribution and cinema operating company ‚Element Pictures’, which he founded together with Andrew Lowe in 2005. His current projects as a producer include the drama THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER by Yorgos Lanthimos, who he previously teamed with for THE LOBSTER (2015). His production of Lenny Abrahamson’s ROOM (2015) received several Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. Further projects currently underway include Sebastián Lelio’s DISOBEDIENCE and Lenny Abrahamson’s THE LITTLE STRANGER.
The Academy-Award-winning screenwriter and renowned playwright Aaron Sorkin made his Broadway playwriting debut at the age of 28 with the military courtroom drama 'A Few Good Men'. In 1993, Mr. Sorkin’s film adaptation of A FEW GOOD MEN was nominated for four Academy Awards, including „Best Screenplay.” In 2011, Mr. Sorkin won the Academy Award, Golden Globe, Critics Choice, and Bafta for 'Best Adapted Screenplay' for THE SOCIAL NETWORK. In 2012, Mr. Sorkin adapted MONEYBALL along with Steve Zaillian and story by Stan Chervin. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards including 'Best Adapted Screenplay'.
William Nicholson was educated at Downside School and Christ’s College, Cambridge, and then joined BBC Television, where he worked as a documentary film maker. There his ambition to write, directed first into novels, was channeled into television drama. His plays for television include SHADOWLANDS and LIFE STORY, both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award in their year; other award-winners were SWEET AS YOU ARE and THE MARCH . In 1988 he received the Royal Television Society’s Writer’s Award. Since then his film credits include: SARAFINA, NELL, FIRST KNIGHT, GREY OWL , GLADIATOR (as co-writer, for which he received a second Oscar nomination), ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE, LES MISERABLES, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, UNBROKEN, and EVEREST.
ZFF Masters 2017
With his legendary portrayal of Gollum in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, Serkis raised motion-capture acting to a completely new level. A computer-animated character filled with so much life had never been seen before. He went on to use his talent for playing unusual characters when he embodied Caesar in the PLANET OF THE APES remake. For his latest project, Serkis went behind the camera to direct the film BREATHE.
Bits and Pieces
A closed and informal session with no external moderation where participants exchange amongst each other about their current work. The speakers are a big part of the Master Class but so are its participants. In 2017 we held two “Bits and Pieces” sessions: one purely conversational session at the beginning of the programme with the aim for people to get to know each other and the projects they are working on and one based at the Riffraff cinema where participants had the opportunity to show and receive feedback on specific film material.
Director: Xavier Legrand
Country, Year: France, 2017
Cast: Denis Ménochet, Léa Drucker, Thomas Gioria, Mathilde Auneveux, Mathieu Saikaly, Florence Jana
Director: Léa Pool
Country, Year: Canada, Switzerland, 2017
Cast: Sophie Nélisse, Karine Vanasse, Jean Simon Leduc, Isabelle Nélisse, Mehdi Djaâd