Report on the 10th Zurich International Film Festival (September25-October5, 2014)
By: Mohammad Mohammadian
On a flight from Paris to Zurich and its Film Festival, I met an Iranian student, who majors in Environment at Zurich University. Soon after our meeting he said he knows cinema pretty well. “One of the most important things in movies is love,” he said, “but I’ve rarely seen a love that wholly and completely takes over the spirit of the audience. Even if there are some, they are not truly or deeply felt”. My examples didn’t convince him. So he added victoriously, “but in Zurich, you’re going to find out what I mean, you’re going to find out about love for yourself!”
At first, it seemed to me that with an old and experienced Festival like Locarno, and its open space Piazza Grande auditorium, Zurich would have little to say. But a few days into the Festival, there was a change and Zurich proved that in the first decade of its existence it has steadily grown among an ever widening circle of cinema goers. It established itself so rapidly that you can’t believe it’s only a ten years old Festival. The reasons for this success are easily identified. It certainly has something to do with impeccable management and programming, very enthusiastic audience, and good reception by the filmmakers from around the world in its past ten events. But add to these factors, the beauty of the city itself with its good seasonal weather, and perhaps that student’s enigmatic remark that I still couldn’t fully decipher!
Zurich is the largest and most populated city situated on the slopes of the Alps Mountains on north east of Switzerland. The city stretches on both sides of the Limmat River that flows out of Lake Zurich.