The Zurich Film Festival has started, with Swiss tennis star Roger Federer gracing the opening night. Jake Gyllenhaal will receive the Golden Eye Award, and Glenn Close will be guest of honour. The niche event has become an international one; here's a pictorial look back at its development.
There were 8,000 visitors at the very first Zurich Film Festivalexternal link in 2005. Since then, a lot has happened: the event has grown from four days to 11, the red carpet has changed to green and the number international celebrities attending has risen. There were 90,500 visitors last year – and at least as many selfies taken with stars such Hugh Grant and Jennifer Connelly.
The 13th Zurich Film Festival will show 160 films, of which 12 are world premieres. The event was proud to announce that this year there would be 38 films from female directors.
Around 80% of the budget comes from the private sector, with the Federal Culture Office donating CHF50,000 ($52,000). In comparison: the Locarno Film Festivalexternal link receives CHF2.3 million from the canton, with a further CHF1.3 million from the government.
The main festival prize, the Golden Eye award, is awarded for the three competition categories: International Feature Film, International Documentary Film and Focus: Switzerland, Germany, Austria. Jake Gyllenhaal will receive a Golden Eye and will present his new film Stronger. Andrew Garfield is being awarded a Golden Eye for his role in Breathe, the directorial debut of actor Andy Serkis, which is also having its premiere at the festival. Glenn Close will receive the Golden Icon Award and is also the subject of a retrospective.