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Master Class with Morgan Freeman at Zurich Festival

The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) announced today that revered screen icon and Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman will receive the coveted Golden Icon Award at this year’s Festival, taking place September 24 – October 4. The announcement was made by ZFF Directors Karl Spoerri and Nadja Schildknecht.

The Zurich Film Festival will present the Golden Icon Award to Mr. Freeman during its Closing Night on Saturday, October 3, 2009. The Icon Award stands as the Festival’s most prestigious symbol of recognition and is awarded in appreciation of the lifetime achievements of an actor or actress. The Golden Icon Award was presented for the first time at the 2008 Festival, when Sylvester Stallone was honored with the accolade.

Freeman will discuss his work as an actor and filmmkaer on October 3rd at a workshop talk given within the framework of the 4th Zurich Master Class.

Morgan Freeman’s talent and versatility as an actor finds appreciation wherever he appears on screen. He has received four Academy Award® nominations (Million Dollar Baby, The Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy and Street Smart) and won the Oscar® in 2005 for his dramatic role in Million Dollar Baby.

Over the course of an amazing career that spans four decades, Freeman has starred in numerous critically and commercially successful films such as Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven and David Fincher’s Se7en, and appeared alongside esteemed contemporaries like Jack Nicholson, Hilary Swank, Jim Carrey and Renée Zellweger. His multifaceted talent, creative savvy and personal integrity have earned him a level of respect within the entertainment industry that very few actors enjoy.

Freeman’s broad spectrum of roles range from police officer to criminal, professional killer to God himself, adeptly avoiding concentration on a single genre and the corset of type casting along the way. He played the role of a brutal pimp in Street Smart so convincingly that he received an Oscar® nomination. Two years later, he was nominated again – this time for a completely different role as the friendly and patient chauffeur who drove his touchy boss around in the classic Driving Miss Daisy.

Additional hit films to Freeman’s credit include Steven Spielberg’s slave drama Amistad, the quirky comedy Nurse Betty, the Civil War drama Glory and the latest installments of the blockbuster Batman franchise - Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Freeman and his producing partner Lori McCreary founded Revelations Entertainment in 1996 with the mission to produce films that enlighten, inspire and glorify the human experience. The company’s most recent production is Invictus, which Revelations developed in house. The film is directed by Clint Eastwood, with Freeman starring in the long-awaited portrayal of Nelson Mandela and co-starring Matt Damon. The film which was shot entirely in South Africa will be released by Warner Bros. in the U.S. on December 11th and open around the world over the following two months. Freeman directed the 1993 drama Bopha! where he first met McCreary (who co-produced that film) which shot in Zimbabwe. Revelations’ past productions include Along Came a Spider, 10 Items or Less, The Code, and Under Suspicion. Their upcoming projects include The Jazz Ambassadors and Rendezvous with Rama to be directed by David Fincher.

Entering just its fifth year, the Zurich Film Festival has established itself as a marquee European Festival, discovering and promoting independent voices and talent from around the world and showcasing a diverse array of international films. ZFF continues to serve as the setting for many World and European premieres.

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