From September 27 to October 7, Zurich becomes the place to be for all the cinephiles, between long-awaited premieres – European, international, or even world premieres (like in the case of Johnny Depp-starrer Richard Says Goodbye) – and prestigious titles from Berlin, Cannes and Venice (both Golden Palm winner Shoplifters and Golden Lion winner Roma are featured in the program). Many important guests will attend the festival, such as Judy Dench who will receive the Golden Icon Award, and Wim Wenders who will be celebrated with a special award and a retrospective including 12 films, from his debut to nowadays. Opening Film is American comedy Green Book, with actor Viggo Mortensen and director Peter Farrelly in attendance.

The Italian presence is particularly noteworthy this year, thanks to the New World View section that every year focuses on the new cinematic voices from a specific country. This year the chosen country is Italy and the festival will screen 18 titles of recent production (2016-18): 13 feature films and 5 shorts in collaboration with the Winterthur Film Festival. The program ranges from the weird comedies like Ears and Easy to the fairytale-like atmospheres of Happy as Lazzaro and Sicilian Ghost Story, without forgetting theItalian candidate to the Oscars, Dogman. Zurich will also host the Swiss premiere of Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro, to be shown in its 150-minute international version. The majority of the screenings will be introduced by the directors and/or producers.

Besides the present, the past is celebrated too, with Lifetime Achievement Award to Donald Sutherland. The Canadian actor, who has always been very close to Italy for professional reasons, will introduce the special screening of Paolo Virzì’s The Leisure Seeker. Other films to be screened in honor of Sutherland include Novecento, Federico Fellini’s Casanova, and Don’t Look Now.

Two Italian films will be presented at the festival as world premieres. The Stone Eater, based on the eponymous novel by Davide Long, is the debut feature of documentarist Nicola Bellucci. The film is a thriller set in Piemonte, starring Luigi Lo Cascio and Leonardo Nigro. Nigro also stars, alongside Vinicio Marchioni and Sabine Timoteo, in Francesco Rizzi’s debut Chronophobia, selected for one of the three competitive sections of the festival (the one dedicated to Swiss, German, and Austrian productions).