Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman’s talent and versatility as an actor finds appreciation wherever he appears on screen. He has received four Oscar nominations and won the award in 2005 for MILLION DOLLAR BABY. Morgan Freeman can indeed look back on an extraordinary career, characterized as much by passion and discipline as by integrity and style. Clint Eastwood once called him „the world’s greatest actor“. How does he maintain this performance diversity and continually find new potential? And what attracted him to directing and producing in the 90’s? These were just some of the questions he clarified in our first public master class.

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.

Larry Charles

The producer, director and screenplay writer was born 1956 in New York and began his career in the 70s as a stand-up comedian. He later made a name for himself as a screenplay writer with his cult series Seinfeld, which won him an Emmy Award in 1992. Following his successful comedy BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN, Charles was back with the provocative documentary film RELIGULOUS. Director Charles and protagonist Bill Maher investigate different religions across the globe - with plenty of humor. The Zurich Film Festival screened RELIGULOUS as a European premiere. That same afternoon, Larry Charles talked about his works BORAT and RELIGULOUS as a ZFF Master Class guest.

Ken Loach

Born in 1936, the British director and screenplay writer Ken Loach is one of the most prestigious European filmmakers. Social drama forms the thematic focus of his work and reflects Loach’s socialist beliefs. Loach attracted a lot of attention with his 1966 debut film CATHY COME HOME. He won the Golden Palm at the 59th Cannes Film Festival in 2006 with THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY. Further awards include the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival, which Loach received for his life’s work in 1994, and the prize awarded by the Ecumenical Jury at the 2004 Berlinale for JUST A KISS. Ken Loach’s workshop talk opened the 2008 ZFF Master Class series and concentrated on MY NAME IS JOE, THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY and IT`S A FREE WORLD.

Bent Hamer

Born in 1956, the Norwegian director, author and producer Bent Hamer was invited to Cannes Film Festival with his first film EGGS, which celebrated its premiere in the Director’s Fortnight section. His film KITCHEN STORIES was submitted as the Norwegian contribution to the Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film category. Hamer’s adaptation of the Charles Bukowski novel FACTOTUM starring Matt Dillon hit cinema screens in 2005. The ZFF Master Class welcomed Bent Hamer as its guest in 2008, where he spoke about KITCHEN STORIES and his work O’HORTENThe latter celebrated its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in the series ‘Un Certain Regard’ in 2008.

Hervé Schneid

Born 1956 in France, Hervé Schneid carved out an early career as a cutter. He has worked for numerous directors including Sally Potter, Mike Figgis, Johnny Depp, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with whom has built up a close working relationship. The most famous films for which Schneid has cut include DELICATESSEN (awarded a César in 1993), ORLANDO, GOODBYE BAFANA AND LE FABULEUX DESTIN D’AMÉLIE POULAIN. The latter brought him various nominations including a BAFTA Award nomination, César Nomination and a nomination for the International Press Academy’s Golden Satellite Award for Best Editing. His ZFF Master Class revolved around EUROPA, LE FABULEUX DESTIN D’AMÉLIE POULAIN, GOODBYE BAFANA and MATHILDE.