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Zurich Film Festival

Zurich Film Festival offers its 79’000 visitors insight into the work of the most exciting and promising filmmakers from around the world. In the International Documentary and Feature Film Competitions emerging directors have the opportunity to present their films in Zurich to the wide attention of the entire German-language market. Participants include both rising and renowned filmmakers as well as buyers, sellers, distributors, media professionals and industry leaders. Twitter I facebook Youtube I Instagram


Donald Sutherland returns to the Zurich Film Festival with his new film The Burnt Orange Heresy


by Emmanuel Itier

Legendary actor Donald Sutherland just graced the premiere of his new film ‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’ at the Zurich film festival. Directed by Giuseppe Capotoni (“The Double Hour”) Mr. Sutherland is playing an enigmatic painter opposite rock Star Mick Jagger who is playing an ambitious art dealer. We caught up with Le Donald in between screenings at The Dolder Grand hotel, a majestic palace and a perfect hub to welcome this iconic Actor.


Q: What inspire you these days to commit to a script and a project?

Donald: Truthfulness and the love for the material. It needs to feel authentic and unique. And obviously if I can identify to the character in any ways. But indeed, it’s rare that I read a script and fall in love. In the case of ‘The Burnt orange heresy’ it was love at first sight. And then it’s a leap of faith and you hope people who will make it know what they are doing. But overall I’m really interested and inspired with staying alive! It wasn’t like this 30 years ago. I thought I was going to live for ever! Now it’s pretty limited and I better enjoy myself and not take a single day for granted. I do the best I can…


Q: You had an amazing ride lately with projects like ‘Trust’, ‘Ad Astra’ and now this fantastic film ‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’. How does it feel?

Donald: Fantastic! And I treasure even more these experience these days since I know I don’t have that much time left. I now always wonder if this is going to be my last film, every time I shoot a new project.



Q: Like you character in this film and other of your colleagues, do you have any talent and skills with painting or visual arts?

Donald: No! I’m afraid not! My job is to be an actor and this is what I do best.


Q: What was the main attraction to this film?

Donald: No doubt it was the script! Such a wonderful material. And I liked this intriguing character: Jerome Debney. A wonderful, complex and unpredictable gentleman. It was a real pleasure to play him…


Q: How was it to share this film with Mick Jagger even so you don’t have any scene together?

Donald: He is such a fantastic and funny man! He is so lovely. And I love sharing the stage with him at the press conference in Venice, before coming here by myself to this great festival in Zurich. I had not seen him since 1976 when I shared a bowl of soup with him! Even so we were not in a scene together we were able to spend time off screen together while filming in Italy at Lake Como. It was such an enchanting moment. I really adore Mick Jagger. My mantram is: “I can’t get no satisfaction!”



Q: This film with a dialogue about the importance of critics. What do you think about film critics and do you pay attention to them?

Donald: Yes, I pay attention to critics…! I think that critics as observers are important. I think it’s very difficult for critics to look at a movie seriously when they seat in a little room and look at it on the screen. But some magazines have wonderful critics such as The New Yorker with Anthony Lane. T.S Eliot was an amazing critic. It’s an intellectual endeavor but in our business it becomes also an emotional endeavor and this might not be the best way to make an objective judgment. 



Pictures from his Career Award in 2018 with the festival organizers



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About Zurich Film Festival

September 26 - October 6, 2019

The Zurich Film Festival presents the most promising new filmmakers and films.

The competition comprises of the following three categories:

  • International Feature Film Competition
  • International Documentary Film Competition
  • Focus Switzerland, Germany, Austria (Feature Films and Documentary Films)

Furthermore the Zurich Film Festival includes other fascinating sections:
-Border Lines
-New World View
-Gala Premieres
-Special Screenings
-ZFF for Kids

Call for Entries! Submit your film now and take a chance to screen your film at the Zurich Film Festival 2019.

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