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.
Hans Zimmer is one of the most innovative, creative and celebrated film music composers of our time. With his fusion of the ordinary and the extraordinary, traditional instruments and synthesized sounds, the simple with the complex, he has been a pioneer in exploring cinematic worlds for 30 years. German-born Zimmer celebrated his breakthrough in 1988 with the music for RAIN MAN. He has since composed the music for over 100 films, a career dotted with an Academy Award® (for THE LION KING), two Golden Globes® and three Grammys®. Always on the lookout for exceptional elements in music and fearlessly breaking musical conventions, he has advanced to become one of the most versatile film composers of his time. His best-known scores include those for AS GOOD AS IT GETS, GLADIATOR, THE DARK KNIGHT, and INCEPTION. Zimmer is currently working on Christopher Nolan’s latest film INTERSTELLAR, which will be launched this coming November. Zimmer will speak at the ZFF MASTERS about the workings of a film composer. How can you take musical inspiration from the look and theme of a film while also adding your own accents? How does music influence the world of cinema and vice versa?
Ten years ago, Fatih Akin celebrated his powerful breakthrough with GEGEN DIE WAND. The compelling love story impressed both critics and audiences with the self-destructive drive of its protagonists and their strained Turkish-German identity. GEGEN DIE WAND was honored with multiple awards, among them the Golden Bear and the European Film Award, but it is only one of Akin’s many brilliant cinematic works. His first feature film, KURZ UND SCHMERZLOS, a harsh crime drama set in the director’s native quarter Hamburg-Altona won the Bavarian Film Award “Best New Director”. Love and homeland, Hamburg and Istanbul, great hopes and crazy ideas – these are the themes of almost all his films. But Akin is well versed in balancing sternness and gaiety, darkness and light. So his œuvre includes both melodramas – like the trilogy about “Love, Death, and the Devil”, whose second part AUF DER ANDEREN SEITE won the “Best Screen- play” award in Cannes – and light-hearted films: IM JULI is a sunny road movie, SOLINO an affectionate family chronicle, and SOUL KITCHEN a heart-warming comedy. Besides his work as a director, Akin also successfully participates in the German film scene as a screenwriter (KEBAB CONNECTION), producer (CHIKO), and actor (KISMET). After five years, Akin finally presents the last part of his trilogy: THE CUT will be screened at this year’s Zurich Film Festival.
Susanne Bier is one of the most accomplished Euro- pean filmmakers of our time. The Danish screenwriter and director is responsible for such internationally successful films as EFTER BRYLLUPPET (AFTER THE WEDDING) and BRØDRE (BROTHERS), a gripping depiction of a conflict among brothers amidst the emotional turmoil of the Afghan war. Due to its enormous success, the film was remade in Hollywood in 2009, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, and Natalie Portman. Bier realized her first US film in 2007 with THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE, a melodrama revolving around a family trying to cope with the loss of husband and father.Her family drama HÆVNEN (IN A BETTER WORLD) garnered the Academy Award® for “Best Foreign Language Film”, compellingly depicting a family’s coming to terms with the oppositional worlds of Europe and Africa as well as child and adulthood, and the straining dichotomy of revenge and forgiveness. At the ZFF MASTERS, Susanne Bier offers insight into her work as a filmmaker. What hurdles did she have to overcome to take a foothold in the male-dominated film indus- try? And what challenges face European film workers in Hollywood?
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.