CINEMA

Zurich Film Festival, 13th Edition

Santiago CINEMA December 10, 2017

By Maite Plimmer

 

It’s a wrap! Another resounding success for the Zurich Film Festival that
took place as usual at the end of September.

Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri, founders and co-directors of the Festival, have worked incessantly to make Zurich a hub of magic during the 2 weeks of its duration.The number of visitors rose by around 8.5% to 98.300 (previous year: 90.500). With its 160 films, including European premieres, Special screenings, Competitions, parties, International Film Music awards, Tributes and of course, The Golden eye awards, we have been thoroughly spoilt and pampered for choice.

These are some of my personal favorites. I have to admit that with the exception of a few movies this year, most were very thought provoking and upon leaving the cinema, I took a while to come back to my own reality. I have the feeling that the movie industry is reflecting the current situation of self-introspection.

“All I see is you” Directed by German Marc Foster. Freud would have had a field day with this one. Dealing with obsessive love. It really touches insecurity, dependency and the fragility of a relationship when changes occur and after years of being blind, one of the partners is able to see and hence no longer depend on the other for everything. The photography is outstanding. The morale of the story being, “The more you force something, the more it tries to escape you.”

“Molly’s Game” Ιmagine fast dialogue, sexy smart and manipulative female, wealthy poker players, Russian Mafia, Italian mafia, FBI and Idris Elba. Need I say more? Chastain is phenomenal in the role; she is going places. Aaron Sorkin is a master king and as such got a Career Achievement Award at the Festival. This was his directorial debut , based on the true story of Molly Bloom. The Swiss crowd was very touched when he stated this was his first trip to Zurich and Switzerland, and that after being here for 30 hours, he never wanted to leave.

“Another News Story”, I experienced many emotions whilst watching this documentary by Orban Wallace. Anger, shock, and a deep understanding of all parties involved. I cried, I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and in the meantime experienced very mixed feelings about the media, who can colour or tarnish a story, depending on how they report it. The best documentary about the refugee crisis I have seen so far.

“Breath” set in Australia; the photography was out of this world. The personalities of all involved were very strong. The roles were well portrayed. The father was my favourite character, very traditional and so aware of the danger his son was going towards but always on standby and trusting him to find his own voice. It was Simon Bakers directorial debut and as well as producing the movie, he starred in it too.

“Breathe” was sublime. Oscar material without a doubt. It confirms that in order for a miracle to occur, unconditional love and determination must be part of the equation. Great casting, to the very last role. Colorful, unforgettable, sad, beautiful, cruel and altruistic. Life at its best. Congratulations Andy Serkis! My very favourite movie of this 13th ZFF. The Special Gala was in presence of Andrew Garfield (Cast), Andy Serkis (Director), Claire Foy (Cast), William Nicholson (Screenplay), Jonathan Cavendish (Producer), Diana Cavendish ( whose life and her families the movie was based on) The movie was made in 7 weeks and with a very low budget. Bravo once more! Andrew Garfield was presented with a Golden Icon award for his great contribution to cinema so far.

“The Wife” It was a great performance by the hybrid Glenn Close. It is a beautifully sad movie. Ego, unconditional love gone wrong and a whole load of family mythology. I liked the Scandinavian realism and the great attention to detail. The Gala premiere was in presence of Glenn Close (Cast), Annie Starke (Cast) and Björn Runge (Director). Glenn Close received a Golden Icon award and dedicated it to her daughter who was also present and played an important role in the movie too.

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” Former US Vice President Al Gore attended the Zurich Film Festival and presented this controversial yet powerful documentary to a crowd with mixed emotions.

There were many more I would like to mention but instead, I will leave you with the link to the festival’s webpage www.zff.com and ask you to come over to Zurich next year and join the fun, the lights, the parties, the green carpet and the Swiss.

Venice Film Festival

Santiago CINEMA December 10, 2017

By Alessandra Zoppi

Venice is among the most beautiful cities in the world, but its art, light, culture and architecture are what make it unique. Once a year during the Venice Film Festival, one of the sectors most important and coveted events, it shines brighter than ever.

 

 

 

The festival’s 74th iteration took place between August 30th and September 9th and was customarily centred around Venice’s Lido, the golden island, in the “Palazzo del Cinema”, with its unmistakeable 40s-style architecture, the nearby Casino and the striking Hotel Excelsior.

In the final day leading up to the grand opening, all eyes turn to the Danieli hotels breath-taking roof terrace for the Variety-hosted cocktail party, “Faces of a Woman #Faces4venice.” The event is held in the honour of Annette Bening, the first woman chairman of the jury, elegant and discreet, who, beginning tomorrow, will be obliged to shun the press until the final ballots are cast. After a few cocktails, accompanied by the evergreen music of DJ Joe T Vannelli, its time to get ready for the next day official opening ceremony.

The festivals first red carpet is both institutional and glamorous: authorities, producers and Matt Demon, lead role in the “out of competition” presentation “Downsizing,” by Alexander Payne, paraded into the main hall, where chairman Paolo Baratta and director Alberto Barbera officially inaugurate the 74th Venice Film Festival with Alessandro Borghi to host the opening ceremony. The young and dashing Italian actor, alongside his girlfriend Roberta, both in head-to-toe Gucci for the duration of the festival, is perfectly at ease in his new role.

The event picks up right from the beginning, with films being screened daily at every hour on the Lido, while in town Venetian palazzos, the citys most picturesque locations, open their doors to cocktail and dinner parties held to celebrate films and actors or launch new initiatives.

My journey begins at the Cipriani Granai, on the Giudecca island, where I attend a cocktail party thrown by Vanity Fair to celebrate legendary photographer David Montgomery’s first Italian retrospective. “So Wonderful” exhibition – 30 snapshots of renown individuals which rightfully entered our collective imagination. An interstitial exhibition between film, music, fashion, art and pop culture.

It’s time to get focused on films. Ai Wei Weis “Human Flow” is a long and touching world journey, from Afghanistan to Sicily’s coast, from Mexico to the United States documenting and telling the stories of all migratory flows while aiming to support their struggle and the refugees cause. Raw and beautiful images from an artist who never forgets to put himself at the forefront of all his messages.

The following evening, in Palazzo Loredan dell’Ambasciatore, Ermenegildo Zegna present their winter campaign, “Defining Moments”, shot by the late Franca Sozzani’s son, Francesco Carrozzini, and starring Robert De Niro and Benjamin Millepied; a thrilling celebration within the palazzos dazzling halls accompanied by an excellent menu and the music of Italian singer/author Alex Britti.

“Victoria & Abdul” is an enjoyable comedy from Stephen Frears, a slightly tweaked true story involving Queen Victoria (the exquisite Judi Dench) and her secretary Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal). Out of competition section.

My personal favourite would have to be “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”, a darkly comic drama from Martin McDonagh. An outstanding effort from the cast: Frances McDormand, for whom I would’ve wanted a prize, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell. The film went on to win the prize for best screenplay

“Mother”, from Darren Aronofsky, was rather nightmarish than a masterpiece yet managed to partially redeem itself through its stellar cast. Jennifer Lawrence was breath-taking in an embroidered tulle dress by Giambattista Valli, Michelle Pfeiffer left a sparkling trail upon her passage, whereas Javier Bardem needs no further introduction.

“Ammore e Malavita”, a hidden gem from the Italian film sector, was a resounding success shot by the Manetti Bros. Incredibly funny and witty, a masterful musical which playfully mocks “La La Land” while clearly drawing from Neapolitan theatre by casting Claudia Gerini, Giampaolo Morelli and Serena Rossi.

In Venice Harry’s Bar is cinema within cinema: never quiet until the early hours, be it for lunch or dinner, work or leisure, rest assured everyone will be passing through at least on one occasion.

Another renown haunt is Da Ivo restaurant, George Clooney’s favourite (he’s in Venice presenting his film “Suburbicon.”) Another is one Michelin starred Caffe Quadri, the only restaurant in St. Marks Square, however, the Venetian summer requires one to search for solace in the cool breeze, caressing the many canals river, and what better place to enjoy the breeze than the waterfront terraces of the Gritti Palace, Bauer and Monaco & Grand Canal hotels?

Hidden from prying eyes, with a magnificent view of the Adriatic Sea, the roof terrace atop Lido’s Palazzo del Cinema is yet another spectacular spot for a glass of champagne in-between screenings. For actors, majors delegations and guests only. From there, after complimenting Alessandro Borghi on his seemingly effortless tenure as the festivals host, we head off to the final prize-giving ceremony and the 74th Venice Film
Festival’s closing ceremony.

Awaiting the jury’s final verdict is never a dull affair.

Leone d’Oro for best film:

“The Shape of Water” from Guillermo del Toro.

Coppa Volpi for best actress:

awarded to Charlotte Rampling

Golden Lions for Lifetime achievement

Jane Fonda and Robert Redford

My personal prize goes to the beautiful and tres-chic Anna Mouglalis, always wearing Chanel.

The night comes to a close with a happy ending dinner in the Salone degli Specchi (Mirror Hall) followed by a wild dancing party on the Excelsior’s beach.

The Deauville & Rome Film Festival With Lady Monika Bacardi

Santiago CINEMA December 10, 2017

Lady Monika Bacardi represented AMBI Group at the 43rd Deauville in Festival as well as attended the 12th Rome Festival

 

 

 

Lady Monika Bacardi represented AMBI Group at the 43rd Deauville in Festival

“Whether Italian, French or American, cinema is an integral part of my life.”
Always looking for new projects and new talents, Lady Monika Bacardi travels extensively between the United States and the old continent.

The films of the AMBI group are becoming more and more numerous and make it one of the most important film production groups. The films in the AMBI catalogue are online and extensive, with a wide selection for you to enjoy. September is traditionally the month of the famous Deauville American Film Festival. In 43 years, the greatest American actors and directors have passed through the festival and beaches of Deauville.

For this 43rd edition, the jury was chaired by Michel Hazanavicius, assisted by Benjamin Biolay, Emmanuelle Devos, Clotilde Hesme, Eric Lartigau, Charlotte Le Bon, Michel Leclerc, Yasmina Reza, Axelle Ropert and Alice Winocour. This year, Monika Bacardi and director Michael Radford presented ‘The Music of Silence’ for its European premiere. It is a biographical film on the famous tenor Andrea Bocelli with, among others, Antonio Banderas. The Music of Silence is on the official festival page, where you can find out more about the story and the cast.

Lady Monika Bacardi presented the ‘Music of Silence’ for its European Premiere in Deauville. There was a lot of emotion in Deauville for Lady Monika Bacardi who officially presented ‘The music of Silence,’ with director Michael Radford, Antonio Banderas, one of the main roles, and Andrea Iervolino, his partner in the Ambi Group productions. This was an exceptional moment for Antonio Banderas, who made a true declaration of love to the cinema and to the audience during his speech. Antonio Banderas plays Maestro, the singing teacher who will reveal one of the opera’s future planetary stars, Andrea Bocelli. The film was unanimously acclaimed by the public for its European premiere at the Deauville Film Festival and the team were immensely proud.

Lady Monika Bacardi was also in attendance at the 12th Rome Film Festival where she presented Beyond the Sun out of competition. On this occasion, she was accompanied by her associate Andrea Iervolino, the director Graciela Rodriguez and many children who especially came with white balloons which were hung messages for his holiness Pope Francis. ‘Beyond the Sun’ speaks to a family audience and especially to children, with an evangelical message around the word of Jesus. This is the first time that a sovereign pontiff has appeared in person in a film, the proceeds of which will be donated to Argentine charities.

Shot in Italy, the film will soon be released in cinemas. ‘Beyond the Sun’ was presented for the first time at the Vatican last month in a private screening. 

OSCARS

Santiago CINEMA July 1, 2017

 

By Maite Plimmer

 

“Movies touch our hearts, awaken our vision and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and open our minds. Movies are the memories of our lifetime; we need to keep them alive.” ~ Martin Scorsese

 

 

am writing this article before the much expected event; I have however one wish for this Oscars 89th ceremony: Please avoid politics! In times like the current one, in which opinions are a dime a dozen and it seems extremely loud, it would be refreshing to escape to Wonderland for a couple of hours and forget it all.

 

‟La La Land stole my breath away. Not in the same way ‟The Revenant” did last year of course, but instead in an enthralling and ‟let me fall in love kind of way. My heart was literally singing throughout the whole movie and my feet couldn’t keep up the pace. A modern day Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers kind of couple; I recommend the considerable efforts from both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Ryan Gosling learned all his piano scenes by practicing for two weeks straight, at least six hours per day. I believe the movie will get 5 Oscars for best movie, best actress, best director, best main song “Audition” and best music.

‟Lion is emotionally charged and based on a true story; it brings our attention to the lost boys of India. Sunny Pawar, the young Saroo who gets lost and subsequently embarks on an odyssey of dangers until adopted by an Australian couple, merits a mention. Dev Patel could very well get an Oscar for best actor having played the role of an older Saroo. My vote, however, goes to Casey Affleck in ‟Manchester by the Sea. The movie is real, raw and clumsily beautiful. Michelle Williams has a short part but moves us to the core. The floor is Affleck’s though, from start to finish. A true comeback for him.

I am expecting Viola Davis to get an Oscar for best supporting actress in the movie ‟Fences, as Troy’s wife Rose. What a performance! So private, so exposing, intense and real. She didn’t get one for ‘The Help’ but I do believe this is her moment!

The Foreign film from Iran, ‘The Salesman,’ is about honour and the terrible violence against women in a society ruled by men and the overall lack of trust in the system. Very moving, some superb acting and meriting the statuette in my eyes.

‘Hidden Figures’ for best writing adapted screenplay. What a great casting! One of my favorite movies this year, highlighting times gone by that should never be again. With humor and a very big message, I urge anyone and everyone to see it and remember history, to learn from the past so as not to allow the same atrocities to take place again.

‘Silence’ – Rodrigo Prieto deserves Best Cinematography. A Historical drama that took Scorsese twenty-eight years to bring to fruition. A story of a Jesuit Priest in 1643 Japan where Christians were severely prosecuted. It is truly a superb piece of art.

‘White helmets’- Best Documentary Short film. A Netflix original set in Syria where a group of men heroically enter war torn areas to rescue people from the destruction and ruble. “They are all a very diverse and disparate group of individuals, all of whom made individual choices … They all had the choice whether or not they wanted to pick up a gun, to become a refugee – but they’ve all made a choice to instead pick up a stretcher,” – Le Menusier.

Jungle Book for Best Visual Effects. A wonderful revival of Rudyard Kipling’s beautiful classic, this time in 3D. Its visual effects are complemented by a great cast of voices (Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson and the likes of Christopher Walken).

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’ for best Production. A pure magical film for all ages.

‘O.J Made in America,’ directed by Ezra Edelman, is my award winning Documentary Feature. It really shows the rise and the fall of a symbol. Race, Media, Sports, domestic violence, predominately male with a few key people missing, it still manages to, quite faithfully, portray the reality of a life gone terribly wrong.

Jeffrey J Haboush for best sound mixing in thirteen hours. Probably the movie that angered and frustrated me the most. A true story of a bunch of brave, stoic heroes that were abandoned to their fate until the very end.

Some nominations that probably won’t win, but that I would like to mention anyway, are: the song ‘The Empty Chair’ written by J. Ralph and Sting, featured in ‘Jim: The James Foley Story,’ for its simplicity and beautifully touching lyrics. Natalie Portman for her portrayal of Jackie; ‘Faultless’ was outstanding and ‘Zootopia’ deserves a mention for its political satire.

Reading now post- Oscars and right before the magazine goes to print, I think I didn’t do so badly with my predictions. Unfortunately though, my wishes were not granted…What’s new? And political it was. Long gone are the days in which decorum reigned…

VENICE FILM FESTIVAL 2016

Santiago CINEMA December 5, 2016

by Monika Bacardi

director-philippe-falardeau-naomi-watts-producer-monika-bacardi-producer-andrea-iervolino-liev-schreiber

Every year, Venice Film Festival takes place in late August or early        September on the island of the Lido, Venice. This location is breathtakingly beautiful, which makes the festival one of the most attractive in the world. Screenings take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi and in other venues nearby.

Every year, we work very hard, focusing a lot of time and attention, before attending Venice Film Festival as the results of this Festival are fundamental for our work in Europe. For us at AMBI Group, it is very important to present our company in the best light, showcasing the work we are busy with on our current projects as well as our future projects.

Over the last few years, Venice Film Festival is back on top after a scorecard that saw successful Oscar wins for Venice premieres three years in a row: Gravity, Birdman and, last year, Spotlight. Such success has allowed for a rise in show titles this year at the festival, bringing an abundance of A-list talent and glamour to our red carpet.

Me and my business partner Andrea Iervolino, as well as the team from AMBI Group, organized several events as well as attended some of the key events ourselves. We started the Venice Film Festival, on 1st September, with a special dinner that we organized for the actors Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber before the Premiere of our new movie The Bleeder. It was a small party but we had a great fun !

The day after we were on the Red Carpet for The Bleeder Premiere with the main actors Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, the Director Philippe Falardeau and producer Avi Lerner. The Premiere was a great success and we’re extremely proud and happy! We hosted an after party and we were happy to receive all the positive feedbacks from the screening of the film.

After this, on the 3rd September we participated at the photocall of our other new film In Dubious Battle directed by James Franco. Just after we attended all together Mimmo Rotella Award Ceremony. The Premiere of In Dubious Battle was an extremely exciting event! We attended the Red Carpet with the actress Ashley Greene, the actor Austin Stowell, the Director James Franco, the Producer Vince Jolivette and the Producer Scott Reed. The interest of In Dubious Battle premiere was huge and it was very important to us how the spectators will react and what will be the critics. At the end, it was a pure success so we’re totally satisfied!

I’m absolutely happy about our performance at 73rd Venice Film Festival! Since its inception the Venice Film Festival has grown into one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world and i’m very happy to be able to attend this amazing event every year! 

ZURICH FILM FESTIVAL 2016

Santiago CINEMA December 5, 2016

by Maite Plimmer

Zurich, a financial hub otherwise known as a tranquil and quite austere city surrounded by beautiful mountains and lakes, has been taken over by the glitz and glamour that accompanies the world of movies and lights.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  A general view during the IWC 'For the Love of Cinema' gala dinner held at AURA Zurich on September 24, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. During the event, actress Uma Thurman presented the second 'Filmmaker Award' worth CHF 100.000 in sponsorship. The award was set up by the Association for the Promotion of Film in Switzerland ('Verein zur Filmfoerderung in der Schweiz')  (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for IWC)

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 24: A general view during the IWC ‘For the Love of Cinema’ gala dinner held at AURA Zurich on September 24, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. During the event, actress Uma Thurman presented the second ‘Filmmaker Award’ worth CHF 100.000 in sponsorship. The award was set up by the Association for the Promotion of Film in Switzerland (‘Verein zur Filmfoerderung in der Schweiz’) (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for IWC)

The 12th edition of the Zurich Film Festival, that has been scaling up since October 2005, runs from the 22nd of September and ends on a high note on the 1st of October with the ZFF Glamorous Awards night.

The aim of the Zurich Film Festival is to offer audiences insight into the work of the most promising filmmakers from around the globe, and to promote the exchange of ideas between established film workers, creative talent and the public. Budding directors have the opportunity to present their films to the wide attention of the entire German-language market. Participants come from around the globe and include both emerging and renowned filmmakers as well as buyers, sellers, distributors, media professionals and industry leaders.

The International Competition sees emerging filmmakers compete for the coveted Golden Eye – the festival’s main award. In addition to the competition, the festival also presents the latest films from renowned filmmakers as exclusive “Gala Premieres” or “Special Screenings”. Furthermore, the “New World View” series focuses on the current cinematic oeuvre of a particular film producing region; “Border Lines” is a section dedicated to films dealing with border situations including territorial, social and individual conflicts; “TVision” focuses on the latest, most innovative TV formats; and finally, numerous side events, such as the “Zurich Master Class”, the “Zurich Summit” and the “Film Music Competition”, complete the festival programme.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Director Garth Davis speaks at the 'Lion' press junket during the 12th Zurich Film Festival on September 22, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2.  (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Garth Davis

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 22: Director Garth Davis speaks at the ‘Lion’ press junket during the 12th Zurich Film Festival on September 22, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Garth Davis

The festival’s Co-Directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri are fully dedicated to the cause and their determination is clear to see.  In 2015 the festival had 85.000 visitors and five hundred press accreditations were issued.

Hollywood personalities, as well as famous guests from around the world, have been attending the festival and we have been truly spoiled for choice. From the fringe events to the introductions to the premieres and screenings by the cast and Directors/Producers; everything has been done immaculately with the setup and general ambiance being one of great excitement and  professionalism across town.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  (L-R) Festival director Karl Spoerri, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, actress Shailene Woodley, director Oliver Stone and Festival director Nadja Schildknecht attend the 'Snowden' Premiere during the 12th Zurich Film Festival on September 24, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Shailene Woodley; Oliver Stone; Karl Spoerri; Nadja Schildknecht

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 24: (L-R) Festival director Karl Spoerri, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, actress Shailene Woodley, director Oliver Stone and Festival director Nadja Schildknecht attend the ‘Snowden’ Premiere during the 12th Zurich Film Festival on September 24, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Shailene Woodley; Oliver Stone; Karl Spoerri; Nadja Schildknecht

Opening night screened the European Premiere of the Australian drama LION and Garth Davis, Iain Canning and Harvey Weinstein were present for the introduction. Bringing to light, the serious issue India has with its “Lost children”. Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman are part of the cast with the plotline portraying a moving account of an Indian child that, after suffering uncertainty and many tribulations, gets adopted by an Australian couple allowing him to start a new life and his then subsequent quest for the old one…

Snowden had one of its first screenings here too and Oliver Stone, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley were in attendance. Whether you personally see Snowden as a hero or a criminal, this film shows one another side to the individual. In my eyes he comes across as immature yet spontaneous, naïve and slightly narcissistic, a complex character. The film is definitely worth watching.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 27:  Hugh Grant presents his award at the 'Florence Foster Jenkins'  Premiere and Golden Icon award ceremony during the 12th Zurich Film Festival on September 27, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: Hugh Grant presents his award at the ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ Premiere and Golden Icon award ceremony during the 12th Zurich Film Festival on September 27, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Hugh Grant received a Golden Icon award for his part in ‘’Florence Foster Jenkins” and as usual was cheered and adored by his fans. He holds himself with such old fashioned British charm and his walk through the green carpet took much longer than anticipated as he was offered Swiss chocolates, kisses, flowers and many compliments…he seemed natural and thrives on the attention.

“War On Everyone” featured the Swedish heartthrob Alexander Skarsgard, who spoke to his fans together with Director John Michael McDonagh. This crude comedy had the public laughing hysterically and Alexander’s naughty boy charisma serves him well. I believe his attitude is going to grant him a reputable place in Hollywood.

Ewan McGregor made his first debut as a Director with ‘American Pastoral’, based on the book written by John Romano and the 1997 novel of the same name by Philip Roth. The cast includes McGregor, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Rupert Evans and Valorie Curry. The critics haven’t been entirely positive about it but in truth he has chosen a challenging adaptation as a debut and personally I believe his cast followed his cue brilliantly. He might lack a bit of creativity, but he was determined in his attention to detail with an intense obsession on following Roth’s book and prose. This of course complicated matters and was certainly a brave challenge to take on.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 25:  Alexander Skarsgard and John Michael McDonagh pose for photographs at the 'War On Everyone' Press Conference during the 12th Zurich Film Festival on September 25, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2.  (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** John Michael McDonagh; Alexander Skarsgard

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 25: Alexander Skarsgard and John Michael McDonagh pose for photographs at the ‘War On Everyone’ Press Conference during the 12th Zurich Film Festival on September 25, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** John Michael McDonagh; Alexander Skarsgard

“Imperium” has an idealistic FBI agent (Daniel Radcliffe) going undercover to infiltrate a white supremacist group that’s plotting an act of terror. The casting was somewhat surprising but I came away thinking it was an excellent choice in the end. A very complex role to play as this particular agent had no field experience or combat skills and was rather a sensitive soul.  Kudos to Daniel Radcliffe for taking on such a challenging role and nailing it.

These are only a few of the top movies presented to give you a taste of the Zurich Film Festival. The standards were generally very high and I trust this festival will only grow and flourish in the years to come. It is admirable to see Zurich becoming a sought after destination for filmmakers across the globe. Well done Zurich!

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