The Zurich Film Festival began in October 2005 and became firmly established upon the national and international festival landscape within a very short period of time. The festival has continued to grow rapidly since that inaugural edition: In 2022, the ZFF attracted approximately 130'000 cinemagoers and more than 500 accredited journalists and 800 industry professionals.

It provides a platform for the most promising filmmakers from around the globe. It aims to promote exchange between emerging directors, successful film workers, the film industry and the general public. Every autumn, the ZFF presents the year's greatest discoveries and most anticipated films.

A Golden Eye, the main prize of the festival, will be awarded in each category by a separate international jury. The Golden Eye is endowed with a 25'000 CHF cash prize (Focus Competition / Feature Film Competition / Documentary Competition).

Audience Award: The public chooses its favourite film out of all the competition entries. The film with the most number of votes will receive the Audience Award from the festival.

Ecumenical Film Award: 2017 saw the first 'Film Award of the Churches of Zurich', which carries a CHF 10’000 cash prize offered by the reformed and catholic churches of the canton of Zurich. It is awarded by a separate jury to a film in the Focus Competition.

1.1 Organisation
The 19th Zurich Film Festival is organised by Zurich Film Festival AG.

1.2. Selection procedure
The festival organizers will choose and invite the films to be shown in the Zurich Film Festival program. The film cannot be withdrawn after the applicant has accepted and confirmed the invitation for his/her film to participate in the Zurich Film Festival competition and program. Zurich Film Festival reserves the right to remove a film from the program and/or demand restitution of CHF 10'000 should a film be withdrawn from the festival.

The films will be generally shown in 4 public screenings and 1 closed press & industry screening at the festival.

1.3. Invitation of the competition film directors
Directors whose films are selected for participation in one of the competition sections will be invited to Zurich during the festival (if the situation allows). Zurich Film Festival will pay for the directors accommodation in a hotel (three nights) chosen by the festival organisers. It will also pay for an economy round-trip ticket (train or plane, depending on the distance) to the festival from the country of origin for one person. The festival will only cover a transportation fee up to CHF 1500. In the case of a co-direction, the festival will cover the costs for one director only. Zurich Film Festival is not bound to issue an invitation.

1.4. Jury
Each competition section is reviewed by a separate jury. All juries consist of a minimum of three film industry professionals. All jurors will be invited by Zurich Film Festival. Any person in any way involved in the production of one of the films in the competition is not allowed to be a member of the jury. The festival reserves the right to exclude any film from the program if, after the film has been chosen for the competition by the festival, it is later discovered that a jury member has any connection with the film whatsoever.

1.5. Winners/Credit to Zurich Film Festival
The winning film in each main competition category (Focus Competition, Feature Film Competition, Documentary Competition) will be chosen by separate juries and awarded the Golden Eye, which is endowed with a CHF 25'000 cash prize.

The cash endowment is to be shared equally between director and producer of winning films in all three categories. Winning films with Swiss distribution further profit from P&A contribution for a theatrical release in Switzerland. The prize cannot be awarded ex aequo (to two films). The jury must choose one single winning film. In the case of a co-directed film, the prize money will be split as follows: equally between the directors (total 50%) and the producer (50%).

The three main prize winners of Zurich Film Festival's "Golden Eye" must ensure that all promotional material (official posters, flyers etc.) contain correct reference to Zurich Film Festival and their prize. The same applies to the opening credits of the respective film at all screenings taking place in cinemas after Zurich Film Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Lukas Pitscheider

    Very professional, very friendly. Had a great time in Zurich!

    November 2020