×

Zurich Film Festival Co-Founders to Step Down

After 15 years of leading the Zurich Film Festival, co-founders Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri will step down from their posts in 2020, with veteran film journalist Christian Jungen set to take over Spoerri’s role as artistic director.

“It is our wish that in the long term we can transfer operational management to other hands,” Schildknecht and Spoerri said in a joint statement Thursday. “We’re looking forward to working with the new management on a strategic level as board members and advisors to the festival from 2020 onwards.”

Jungen, the chief cultural editor at the German-language Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, will join the festival’s programming team in May to ensure a smooth transition to his full curation of the fest next year. Jungen has a PhD in film studies and 25 years of experience as a critic. He was president of the Swiss Assn. of Film Journalists from 2011 to 2017 and a member of the Zurich Film Commission from 2013 to 2018. He is also the author of two books, “Hollywood in Cannes” and the biography “Moritz de Hadeln – Mister Film Festival.”

Spoerri praised his successor’s “comprehensive track record and extensive experience,” adding that Jungen was “very well-connected in the industry.”

Viviana Vezzani, who worked over a decade as senior programmer for the festival, will also be stepping down from her operational role at the end of the year. She will however remain on as a senior advisor to support Jungen and the new team.

A search for a new commercial management team has begun. Schildknecht is currently responsible for the business side of the festival and matters related to finance, events, sponsoring and marketing, but has begun the search for who will replace her by January 2020.

Founded in 2005, the Zurich Film Festival will run this year from Sept. 26 to Oct. 6. Its lineup will be announced Sept. 12.

More Film

  • Glenn Gainor to give keynote presentation

    Sony's Glenn Gainor Set as CinefestOZ Keynote Presenter

    Glenn Gainor, president of Sony Innovation Studios and head of physical production at Screen Gems, will deliver the keynote speech at the industry program of next month’s CinefestOZ Film Festival. The small but densely packed festival takes place in multiple venues near Busselton and Margaret River in West Australia. It runs Aug. 28-Sept. 1 and [...]

  • avengers-endgame-avatar-box-office-record

    James Cameron Salutes 'Avengers: Endgame' For Beating 'Avatar's' Box Office Record

    Director James Cameron may no longer be the reigning box office champion, but at least he’s gracious about passing the baton. Over the weekend, “Avengers: Endgame” officially dethroned “Avatar” to become the biggest movie in history. For a decade, Cameron’s dazzling sci-fi epic held the top spot with $2.7897 billion in global ticket sales, but [...]

  • A-Beautiful-Day-in-the-Neighborhood-Trailer

    Tom Hanks Channels Mister Rogers in 'Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' Trailer

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood because Sony debuted the first trailer for its Mister Rogers movie starring Tom Hanks. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers (Hanks) and Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys), a cynical journalist assigned to write a profile of the long-running television host. [...]

  • For web story

    'The Burnt Orange Heresy,' With Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland, to Close Venice

    “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” starring Mick Jagger as a reclusive art dealer alongside Elizabeth Debicki (“Widows”), Claes Bang (“The Square”) and Donald Sutherland, has been selected as the Venice Film Festival closer.  The English-language art heist movie marks Italian director Giuseppe Capotondi’s first time back at Venice since 2009, when his debut feature film, the [...]

  • A woman prays at a makeshift

    Kyoto Animation Death Toll Rises to 34; Suspect Still Too Injured to Be Questioned

    Shinji Aoba, the man suspected of setting a fire that killed 34 people at the Kyoto Animation studio, remains hospitalized and too injured to be officially arrested and questioned. Police in Kyoto have obtained an arrest warrant for Aoba but cannot serve it because of his condition. Police sources have raised the death toll from [...]

  • Azania Muendane

    Locations Africa Expo Sends Message in Durban: ‘Africa is Ready’

    DURBAN–The first edition of the Locations Africa Expo and Conference was held this week during the Durban FilmMart, with an eye toward identifying and growing the opportunities to lure incoming productions to the continent. “Locations Africa is trying to service a need on the continent to discuss the physical production…on the ground, highlighting film commissions, [...]

  • The Lion King

    China Box Office: 'Looking Up' Is Surprise Weekend Winner Ahead of 'Lion King'

    Actor and comedian Deng Chao underlined his enduring popularity with mainstream Chinese audiences by delivering a surprise No. 1 box-office hit in “Looking Up” over the weekend. It scored $38.6 million in its opening frame, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, and displaced “The Lion King” from its perch. “Looking Up” is a family [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content