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Zurich banks on Stallone, Fonda

Thesps add glitz to Swiss fest

ZURICH — The Zurich Film Festival received a dose of Hollywood glamour this week with the appearance of Sylvester Stallone and Peter Fonda.

Having received a Golden Icon Award for his lifetime work on Sept. 26, Stallone gave young talent tips on directing, acting and writing the following day.

“Expect to fail,” was one of thesp’s directions at a masterclass that lasted just under an hour.

Touching on the subjects of sentimentality in films, the difficulties of working with famous actors and the discomforts of growing old, Stallone appeared to have won over local journalists with his straight-talking style.

Fonda has also been warmly welcomed as jury prez.

Famed for its financial services industry, Zurich has one of the highest number of cinemas per head of population in the world, making it a seemingly ideal location for the young fest.

Now in its fourth year, the Zurich Film Festival is growing in size and attempting to carve out a niche distinct from that of its bigger Swiss cousin Locarno.

Leading Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung suggests that by focusing on crowd-pleasers with a commercial future, the fest can set itself apart from other events that seek out gritty world premieres.

Among the films that have attracted attention so far are main prize contender “Dr Aleman” and debut film prize contender “Tulpan.”