Sabine Gisiger

"A life lived lead to material for films and the questions that arise from them," aptly described by the film magazine Frame about the films of Sabine Gisiger. It had always been the existential questions of life, which the Zurich-based filmmaker wanted to explore in her documentaries. The 56-year old has been working in the film industry since 1990 and now shares her knowledge with film students as a lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts. One of her biggest successes is DO IT, the recipient of the Swiss Film Prize, in which she takes an uninhibited look at the history of Swiss terrorism. For GAMBIT, a documentary about the chemical disaster in Seveso, Italy in the 1970s, won the Critics Week Award in Locarno four years later and was garnered with the Max Ophüls Prize and the Swiss Film Prize. In her latest film DÜRRENMATT, a love story, Sabine Gisiger attempts to retrace Dürrenmatt's marriage to Lotti through archival material, a marriage that she herself has witnessed from up close as Friedrich Dürrenmatt was often a guest in Gisiger parents's home.

Sabine Boss

Swiss director Sabine Boss loves to tell stories of all kinds – a passion she has successfully pursued in film, television, and theatre since graduating from the Zurich University of Arts in 1996. Having set high standards for herself, Boss desired to expand her education as a film director by working at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg for three years. There, she gained deep sensitivity for working with actors – a much praised passion which she is passing on to film students in actor’s directing classes at the Zurich University of the Arts since 2011. In 2002, she realized her first feature film, the light-hearted political comedy ERNSTFALL IN HAVANNA, which remains among the Top 10 of the most successful Swiss films ever made. Boss regularly rises to the challenge of directing well- made television productions, too: Her writer-director debut STUDERS ERSTER FALL received critical acclaim for its innovative modernization of Friedrich Glauser’s novel “Matto regiert”. Her latest work is another film adaptation: With great insight and sensitivity she put Pedro Lenz’ best-selling novel DER GOALIE BIN IG on the big screen. For this, Boss was honored with the Swiss Film Award in 2014, and she proved once more her great ability to empathize with the challenges of human relationships. 

Marc Forster

Born in Germany and raised in Switzerland, Marc Forster is one of the most successful and versatile directors worldwide. After finishing NYU Film School and moving to Los Angeles in his early years, he shot his first masterpiece EVERYTHING PUT TOGETHER, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival. Forster’s filmmaking style was clearly evident in this searing psychological drama, which he also co-wrote. In the very same year, Forster won the Someone to Watch Award at the Independent Spirit Awards. His break through film, MONSTER'S BALL, was a critical and commercial success and received two Oscar nominations with Halle Berry winning for Best Actress. More great projects followed, such as STAY, STRANGER THAN FICTION, THE KITE RUNNER and FINDING NEVERLAND. The latter masterpiece was nominated for seven Oscars. Forster has worked with countless Hollywood stars including Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts and Dustin Hoffman. In 2008, Mr. Forster was asked to direct the James Bond Franchise’s QUANTUM OF SOLACE. The highly gifted director also triumphed with his latest coup; WORLD WAR Z has grossed more than 500 million dollars worldwide to date.

Markus Imboden & Jasmin Hoch

Born and raised in Switzerland, the successful Markus Imboden has been a freelance director and screenwriter since 1986. He celebrated his breakthrough in 1996 with his motion picture KATZENDIEBE, starring Beat Schlatter and Patrick Frey. With this first big hit he won the Prix Walo and the Golden Moments. More of his successful movies include KOMIKER, HEIDI, HUNGER AUF LEBEN, BELLA BLOCK – DENN SIE WISSEN NICHT WAS SIE TUN (German TV Prize), AUF IMMER UND EWIG UND EINEN TAG (nominated for the Adolf TV Prize), DER VERDINGBUB and MÖRDERISCHE JAGD. The box office hit DER VERDINGBUB, which was written by Jasmine Hoch and Plinio Bachmann, won numerous awards, such as Schweizer Filmpreis for Best Film in 2012, Prix Walo 2012 for Best Film as well as Best Actor at Festroia – International Film Festival Portugal. With screenwriter Jasmine Hoch he has also worked on other projects, one of which is the motion picture HEIDI. Jasmine Hoch wrote the script for DER GOALIE BIN IG, which is coming out in 2014. Markus Imboden’s latest coup AM HANG has its Premiere at the Zurich Film Festival on October 4th and will be in Swiss cinemas by October 24th. Markus Imboden is a member of the German and Swiss Film Academy and has been Head of Department “Master of Arts in Film” at ZHdK since 2012, where Jasmine Hoch is a lecturer as well. 

DCM Mitte Productions

The Swiss trio, Dario Suter (32), Christoph Daniel and Marc Schmidheiny (both 26), got their feet in the film world door after founding their Berlin-based company DCM Mitte Productions. Their first film WAFFENSTILLSTAND (director: Lancelot von Naso) celebrated its European premiere last year in the Zurich Film Festival’s German-Language Feature Film Competition and won the Audience Award. The three were in the process of producing their own material and were additionally working on German and English language co-productions. This young company hopes to expand its production business into the field of distribution in the near future.

Niki Reiser

Niki Reiser was born 1958 in Aargau. He studied classical music in Basel and majored in film music while studying jazz & classical music in Boston. He became acquainted with director Dany Levy in 1986 and wrote the music for his first film DU MICH AUCH. His international breakthrough came with the film music for Caroline Link’s JENSEITS DER STILLE (1996). He has since composed music for numerous films including NIRGENDWO IN AFRIKA (2001), HEIDI (2001), DAS FLIEGENDE KLASSENZIMMER (2003), DIE WEISSE MASSAI (2005), IM WINTER EIN JAHRE (2008) and MARIA, IHM SCHMECKT'S NICHT (2009). As yet, Reiser is five-times-winner of the German Film Award.

Christian Frei

The Oscar nominated Swiss documentary filmmaker Christian Frei (WAR PHOTOGRAPHER, THE GIANT BUDDHAS) celebrates the world premiere of his latest film at the Zurich Film Festival; SPACE TOURISTS is a documentary about and an American space tourist and Kazakh rocket debris collectors. For 20 million dollars, the American Anousheh Ansari realized her childhood dream: to travel into outer space. The film accompanies her on her trip in space and shows everyday life as it is on an international space station.Following the film’s presentation, Frei gave a comprehensive workshop talk on the initial idea, his meticulous research and the obstacles and challenges he encountered during the more than two years it took to film.