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.
Renowned producer Jeremy Thomas is the owner of the Recorded Picture Company, which was founded in 1974. He became known for his commercially successful and critically acclaimed films. The multi-award winning Brit works with highly individual directors, yet remains true to his vision of what ambitious independent cinema should be. Jeremy Thomas has produced such classics as Bernardo Bertolucci’s THE LAST EMPEROR (1987), masterpieces by Nicolas Roeg, Takeshi Kitano, Nagisa Oshima, Volker Schlöndorff and David Cronenberg and outstanding debut films like Jonathan Glazer’s SEXY BEAST (2000) and David Mackenzie’s YOUNG ADAM (2003). In his ZFF Master Class, Jeremy Thomas used selected examples to discuss in detail these productive collaborations and the development of his projects.
Brad Simpson was a producer at the New York-based production company Killer Films and made his name working with challenging content matter in such films as BOYS DON’T CRY (1999) and FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002). Following a long-term collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Simpson is currently working on promising future projects after developing the production company Apparatus Prods. together with his business partner and MONSTER’S BALL director Marc Foster. Despite being in the early stages of his career, the producer’s experience already encompasses independent film production and – with DIARY OF A WIMPY KID (2010) – an insight into the American studio system.
The multi-talented Adrian Grenier, himself the focus of paparazzi activity, turned the cameras on this group of celebrity snappers for his film TEENAGE PAPARAZZO (2010). This ironic and playful response to stardom and his own fame is typical for him, who is best known in his homeland for his role in the TV series ENTOURAGE. TEENAGE PAPARAZZO was Adrian Grenier’s second documentary film. In addition to his activities as a director and actor, he is also the star drummer of his band ‘The Honey Brothers’ and produces his own film projects.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST and AMADEUS are two of movie history’s most successful author films. Although born near Prague in 1932, Forman has been an American citizen for years and is considered Hollywood’s most European director. While comedic elements are found throughout Forman’s entire body of films, he earned his success by not concentrating on a particular genre or style. His early Czech films and his American crowd pleasers have both helped to establish Forman as an important director. His psychiatric drama was followed by the 1979 film version of the successful musical HAIR, the 1981 social drama RAGTIME, the 1999 film MAN ON THE MOON with Jim Carrey – and many more masterpieces.
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.