The Zurich Film Festival has unveiled the first seven titles from its Gala Premieres section, a showcase of some of the year’s hottest auteur films. The films include the star-studded drama “The Banshees of Inisherin” by Oscar-winning director Martin McDonagh, the European premiere of the German film adaptation “All Quiet on the Western Front,” directed by Edward Berger, and the world premieres of Sönke Wortmann’s “Der Nachname” and “Die Goldenen Jahre” by Barbara Kulcsar.
Artistic director Christian Jungen said: “In recent years, the Zurich Film Festival has established itself as a springboard into the awards season. Of the last 10 winners of the Oscar for Best Film, six screened at the festival. This year, we will again present international auteur films that will later play a role in the Oscar race to the more than 120,000 visitors and the 600 accredited media.”
The complete program of the festival will be published on Sept. 8.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” European Premiere (Drama) Germany
Director: Edward Berger
Cast: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer, Moritz Klaus, Edin Hasanovic, Daniel Brühl, Devid Striesow
Germany, World War I. A romanticized idea of heroism motivates schoolboy Paul Bäumer to volunteer for the army. Full of patriotic zeal, he goes to the Western Front with his comrades – but it is not long before the initial euphoria turns into fear and despair. With “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Edward Berger directs the first German film adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s bestseller: a gripping drama that brings home the absurdity and reality of war.
“Argentina, 1985” Drama (Argentina)
Director: Santiago Mitre
Cast: Ricardo Darín, Peter Lanzani, Norman Briski
“Argentina, 1985” is inspired by the true story of public prosecutors Julio Strassera and Luis Moreno Ocampo, who dared to investigate and prosecute Argentina’s bloodiest military dictatorship in 1985. Undeterred by the military’s still considerable influence within their fragile new democracy, Strassera and Moreno Ocampo assembled a young legal team of unlikely heroes for their David vs. Goliath battle. Under constant threat to themselves and their families, they raced against time to bring justice to the victims of the military junta.
“The Banshees of Inisherin” (Drama) Ireland, U.S., U.K.
Director: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan, Kerry Condon
While civil war rages in Ireland in 1923, life on the remote island of Inisherin takes its usual course for the good-natured Pádraic. But he is abruptly jolted out of his carefree state when his lifelong friend Colm resigns his friendship for seemingly no reason. Events threaten to escalate and the men maneuver themselves further and further into a dead end. After “Three Billboards,” Oscar-winning director Martin McDonagh tells a blackly humorous story about a male friendship against a breathtaking backdrop.
“Broker” (Drama) South Korea
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Gang Dong-won, Doona Bae, Lee Joo-Young, Gang Dong-won
When an infant is left at a baby hatch one rainy night, Sang-hyun and Dong-soo decide to secretly take him home. The mission: to find a new family. But then the mother, So-young, unexpectedly reappears. While they go on a journey that will change everyone involved forever, the police are looking for them.
“Die Goldenen Jahre” World Premiere (Comedy) Switzerland
Director: Barbara Kulcsar
Screenplay: Petra Volpe
Cast: Stefan Kurt, Esther Gemsch, Ueli Jäggi
Alice and her husband Peter are newly retired, but their new phase of life is overshadowed when Magalie dies unexpectedly. While Alice mourns the loss of her best friend, Peter develops into a health fanatic. A cruise together is supposed to bring the couple closer together again, but Magalie’s widowed husband disturbs their togetherness. Without further ado, Alice decides to set out on her own adventure. A feel-good movie about the third third of life, based on a screenplay by Petra Volpe.
“Der Nachname” World Premiere (Comedy) Germany
Director: Sönke Wortmann
Cast: Christoph Maria Herbst, Caroline Peters, Justus von Dohnányi, Florian David Fitz, Janina Uhse, Iris Berben
It should have been a harmonious reunion on Lanzarote, but as soon as the married couple Stephan and Elisabeth and new parents Thomas and Anna arrive at the family holiday home, new quarrels break out in the family. Elisabeth and Thomas can hardly believe it when their mother Dorothea announces that she and adopted son René are now married. Four years after “Der Vorname,” director Sönke Wortmann returns to Zurich with the long-awaited sequel and delightfully wicked social comedy “Der Nachname.”
“Triangle of Sadness” (Comedy/Drama) Sweden, Germany, France, U.K.
Director: Ruben Östlund
Cast: Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly de Leon, Woody Harrelson
Models Carl and Yaya are navigating the world of fashion while exploring the limits of their relationship. The couple, along with a rogues’ gallery of wealthy passengers, are invited on a luxury cruise where, at first glance, everything seems perfect. When a terrible thunderstorm causes the ship to capsize, things get completely out of hand. The film won the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, this year.