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Zurich Film Festival Awards were revealed

Competition winners at the 7th The Zurich Film Festival were revealed tonight at a packed awards ceremony held at Zurich's famed Opera House.


Competition winners were announced by their respective
juries. ZFF 2011 winners are:


Language Feature Film

"Atmen" (Director: Karl Markovics / Austria)


Feature Film

"Take Shelter" (Director: Jeff Nichols / USA)


Documentary Film

"Buck" (Director: Cindy Meehl / USA)


Language Documentary Film

"Darwin" (Director: Nick Brandestini / Switzerland)


The Festival's Critics Award prize went to the
Norwegian comedy "Happy Happy." The Audience Award winner was the German
language documentary "Unter Wasser Atmen."


About the




Genre: DOC: Portrait

Country: USA

Language: English

Production: Julie Goldman

Cast: Buck Brannaman, Robert


The Horse Whisperer may be
a Hollywood legend, but the cowboy who was the inspiration for both the book
and the film is very real. With great effect and considerable success, Buck
Brannaman spends nine months of the year travelling through America imparting
his inexhaustible equine knowledge at clinics and therapy groups. "Instead of
helping people with horse problems, I help horses with people problems," says
the charismatic Brannaman. It is not unusual for the problems of a horse to
have their roots in its owner. Brannaman's tender approach to animals was not
something he was born with. Following the early death of their mother, he and
his brother were exposed to frequent outbreaks of violence while under the care
of their father. It was not until Brannaman was placed in a foster family that
he was able to build up a new sense of trust and develop his way of handling
both people and horses with respect.




Genre: Drama

Country: Austria

Language: German

Script: Karl Markovics

Production: Dieter Pochlatko, Nikolaus

Cast: Thomas Schubert, Karin
Lischka, Gerhard Liebmann, Georg Friedrich



19-year-old Roman Kogler
has been stuck in a youth detention centre since being convicted of
manslaughter four years earlier. He's got the chance of early release, but the
confined and withdrawn young man has no family to support him. The chances of
being successfully integrated back into society are slim. But he is offered day
release, and finds work at a funeral home. Rudolf, his new colleague, crudely
shows him the ropes on his first day at performing this rather specialist
activity. Roman gets over his initial shock and soon learns to deal with the
dead respectfully. In doing so, he makes a discovery that sends him on the
trail of his past. Confronted by death, Roman gradually finds his way back to


"Take Shelter"


Genre: Thriller

Country: USA

Language: English

Script: Jeff Nichols

Production: Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin

Cast: Michael Shannon, Jessica
Chastain, Shea Whigham, Tova Stewart


Curtis LaForche lives in a
small Ohio town with his wife Samantha and their daughter Hannah, who is deaf
and dumb. Curtis makes a modest living as a crew chief for a sand-mining
company. Samantha is a stay-at-home mom who supplements their income working as
a part-time seamstress. Money is tight, and navigating Hannah's healthcare and
special-needs education is a constant struggle. Despite that, Curtis and
Samantha are very much in love. All this changes when Curtis begins having
terrifying dreams about an approaching apocalyptic storm. He keeps his
nightmares to himself, but begins building a storm shelter in their backyard -
he wants to prepare for the worst. His behaviour worries not only his neigbours,
but also his wife Samantha. Curtis begins to question the true significance of
his dreams: must he protect his family from a tornado, or from himself?




Genre: DOC: Social & Human

Country: Switzerland

Language: English

Script: Taylor Segrest

Production: Nick Brandestini, Sandra
Ruch, Taylor Segrest, Vesna Brandestini

Cast: Nancy and Monty Brannigan,
Connie and Hank Jones


Situated at the end of a
badly-kept road in California's Mojave Desert, the little town of Darwin has
seen much better days. Located on the edge of a now-disused silver mine, this
town was once the a bustling hub for multitudes of mine workers right up to the
1970s. Today it has exactly 35 inhabitants - all of them dropouts. What drives
people to take up residence in a bizarre desert ghost town with no political
structures, no work and no children? "Darwin is about living in the moment, the
past is not important here", says Hank, who settled in Darwin with his wife
Connie after leaving behind a difficult phase in their lives. DARWIN is the
portrait of an extraordinary yet archetypal American place and its people.

"Happy, Happy"


Genre: Comedy

Country: Norway

Language: Norwegian

Script: Ragnhild Tronvoll

Production: Synnøve Hørsdal

Cast: Agnes Kittelsen, Joachim
Rafaelsen, Maibritt Saerens, Henrik Rafaelsen


Happy-go-lucky teacher Kaja
and her laconic husband Erik live with their son in the sparsely populated
Norwegian hinterland. Kaja is a little lonely, and reacts with understandable
enthusiasm when Sigve, Elisabeth and their adopted son come to live in the
neighbourhood. At their quickly organised welcome meal, Kaja, unlike the
reserved Erik, is fascinated by the apparently perfect couple, and can hardly
contain her curiosity. But their next get-together unearths some uncomfortable
truths. A rather embarrassing party game reveals that all is not well in either
marriage. And so it follows that Kaja and Sigve, both hungry for love and
understanding, plunge headfirst into a passionate affair, which triggers a
change in Erik. While the adults try to rearrange their lives, their children
entertain themselves with a hideous game. An amusing and highly entertaining
story of freedom and disloyalty with a few surprising twists.


"Unter Wasser Atmen"


Genre: DOC: Portrait

Country: Switzerland

Language: Swiss German

Production: Stefan Muggli, Andri

Cast: Nils Jent, Cuno und Hélène
Jent, Regula Dietsche, Martin Hilb


The Jent family watch
images from their super-8 film archive of a strong, bright-eyed youth, who
moves with an extraordinary grace, taking a daring high dive into a pool of
water. Then comes the day when the 19-year-old almost loses his life in a
motorbike accident. After four weeks in a coma he wakes up, paralysed and
robbed of his sight and speech, to a new and radically different existence.
UNTER WASSER ATMEN is a powerful document of how satisfaction, happiness and
even professional success can find a place in such a life. Step by step, and
with boundless willpower and patience, Nils fights his way back into everyday
life. He explores the frontiers of his handicapped body, and draws on the one
thing that remains completely unscathed: his intelligence. Thanks to the
unwavering support of his parents, Nils achieves goals nobody believed
possible. Twenty years after his accident, Nils has lost none of his sparkle -
in fact, he now shines brighter than ever.


About the Zurich Film Festival


The Zurich Film Festival was founded in October 2005 and
became firmly established upon the national and international festival
landscape within a very short period of time. This year's seventh edition again
sees Zurich transformed into an eleven-day film festival capital celebrating
the art of film in all its facets!


The aim of the Zurich Film Festival is to offer audiences
an insight into the work of young, upcoming filmmakers from around the globe
and to promote the exchange of ideas between established film workers, young
talent and the public.


The international competition will witness young
filmmakers competing for the coveted Golden Eye - the festival's main award. In
addition to the competition, we will also present the latest films by renowned
filmmakers as exclusive gala premieres. Furthermore, the New World View series
will focus upon the current cinematic oeuvre of a developing film region. In
the past years, we have been focusing on Israel (2008), Argentina (2009) and
Australia (2010).


Numerous fringe events and parties give individuals from
the field of film and movie-smitten visitors the opportunity to discuss
happenings and bring the cinema day to an agreeable end in a pleasing and
relaxed atmosphere


ZFF is organized by Spoundation Motion Picture GmbH,
based in Zurich, in cooperation with local institutions and sponsors. The
Zurich Film Festival cooperates with numerous distributors and producers from
Switzerland and abroad. The idea to found a festival in Zurich came from Karl
Spoerri. Today, the festival directors are Karl Spoerri (artistic director) and
Nadja Schildknecht (public relations, marketing and sponsoring).


The Zurich Film Festival is generously supported by
its main sponsors: Credit Suisse, Die Post, Kuoni and Audi.


For more information please visit



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