Born in 1943, the French director Jean-Jacques Annaud began his career with a bang: his debut feature LA VICTOIRE EN CHANTANT, a parable about colonialism, won an Academy Award in 1977. Originally active in the advertising sector, Annaud’s name reached beyond the circle of purely French cineastes to include a much wider audience when he directed the multi award-winning literary adaptation THE NAME OF THE ROSE (1986). His boundless curiosity and enthusiasm for spectacular themes enables him over and again to bridge the gap between art and commerce. The director of such cinema hits as SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET (1997) and ENEMY AT THE GATES (2001) offers insight into his multifaceted work at this ZFF Masters session.
Vincent Maraval's filmography as a producer reads like an outline of the most important arthouse films of the 2000s. As co-founder of Wild Bunch, a distribution and world sales company committed to the promotion of arthouse cinema, his roles include producer, co-producer and executive producer on a number of international productions. The Frenchman supported the artistic vision of great directors like Gaspar Noé, Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, Abdellatif Kechiche, Nicolas Winding Refn, Claire Denis, Guillaume Canet, Vincenzo Natali, Cristian Mungiu, James Marsh, Stephen Frears, Abel Ferrara, Woody Allen , Darren Aronofsky, Steven Soderbergh, Fernando Meirelles, Peter Sollett and Larry Clark. Prior to joining Wild Bunch Maraval worked for TF1 and StudioCanal.
Having grown up in West Africa, French director Claire Denis has always grappled with subjects like identity and the transgression of social and cultural bound- aries. After studying at today’s La Fémis in Paris, she worked as an assistant director to Jacques Rivette, Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, and others. She made her directorial debut in 1988 with CHOCOLAT, a quiet and sensible examination of (post-)colonial racial tensions in Cameroon. The solidarity with margin- dwellers and reflections on the social exclusion of the “other” have marked her following eleven feature films as well. In 1996, Denis received the Golden Leopard in Locarno for NÉNETTE ET BONI. Her film BEAU TRAVAIL three years later, the fourth collaboration with cinematog- rapher Agnès Godard, further reinforced her international acclaim. With works like the body horror film TROUBLE EVERY DAY as well as the dramas 35 RHUMS, WHITE MATERIAL, and LES SALAUDS, Claire Denis has established herself as one of the most important con- temporary filmmakers.
Born 1933 in Paris to Polish parents, the director Roman Polanski is considered one of the most unconventional filmmakers of our time. He celebrated his exhilarating cinema debut with KNIFE IN THE WATER in 1962. Polanski’s most famous works include the comedy THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967), the soon to become cult film psycho-thriller ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968) and CHINATOWN (1974), which is now regarded as a milestone of the Film Noir genre. His semi-biographical Holocaust drama THE PIANIST did not only triumph with the Golden Palm at Cannes in 2002, but also received the Oscar for Best Director in 2003. Unfortunately, he could not attend Zurich Film Festival due to his arrest on arrival.
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.