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Zurich focuses on young filmmakers

Emphasis on first, second or third works

BERLIN — Unveiling its lineup on Thursday, the Zurich Film Festival is again presenting a showcase of world cinema from young up and coming filmmakers from around the globe.

Among the selections unspooling in the fest’s three main competition sections are Derek Cianfrance’s relationship drama “Blue Valentine,” starring Michelle Williams, Ryan Gosling; Tomasz Thomson’s German hitman laffer “Snowman’s Land”; and Amir Bar-Lev’s “The Tillman Story.”

The International Feature, German-Language Feature and International Documentary Film competitions form the heart of the festival, showcasing first, second or third works by young directors.

Also competing as international features are Dana Adam Shapiro’s “Monogomy,” about a New York photog dealing with voyeuristic obsession; British helmer Hattie Dalton debut work “Third Star,” about a young man facing his mortality; David Pinillos’ Spanish romantic comedy “Bon Appetit”; and Rebecca Zlotowski’s French adolescence drama “Belle Epine.”

Teutonic titles include Michael Schaerer’s “Stationspiraten,” about a group of young cancer patients learning to deal with their illness in Switzerland; Cihan Inan’s Swiss title “180°,” about the impact of a shooting rampage; Florian Cossen’s “The Day I Wasn’t Born,” which follows a German woman who discovers she was adopted in Argentina during the military dictatorship; and Elisabeth Scharang’s Austrian drama “In Another Lifetime,” which centers on a group of Jewish prisoners who find themselves in an Austrian village toward the end of the war and end up performing the beloved operetta “Wiener Blut” for the locals, despite facing a wave of anti-Semitism.

Among this year’s documentary selection are Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s “The Two Escobars,” a look at the links between the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and murdered soccer player Andres Escobar; “Beijing Punk,” Shaun Jefford’s documentary look at the Chinese punk movement; and Jeff Malmberg’s “Marwencol,” about a brain-damaged man who seeks recovery in a 1/6th-scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.

This year’s out-of-competition Gala Screenings include 19 high-profile feature and documentary films, including Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Biutiful” with Javier Bardem; Thomas Vinterberg’s “Submarino”; Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”; Stephen Frears’ British comedy “Tamara Drewe”; and 3D documentary “Cane Toads: The Conquest” by Mark Lewis, who also serves on this year’s documentary jury.

Australian film is also highlighted in the New World View sidebar, which showcases eight new feature films and documentary films from Down Under, including Robert Connolly’s East Timor drama “Balibo” and Patrick Hughes’ thriller “Red Hill,” starring Ryan Kwanten.

Opening the fest is Michael Steiner’s “Sennentuntschi,” based on the Pygmalion-like Alpine fable about a female dummy, created by lonely herdsmen in need of companionship, who comes to life and seeks revenge for the misdeeds committed against her. Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” closes the fest on Oct. 3.

The Zurich Film Festival kicks off Sept. 23.

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