Zurich Film Festival Announces Prizes

October 5, 2020
The Golden Eyes have been awarded at the Zurich Film Festival to films from Mexico, Austria and the USA and a series from Denmark.

In the Feature Film Competition, the Golden Eye went to Identifying Features by Fernanda Valadez. The film follows a mother (Mercedes Hernandez) who crosses Mexico trying to find her son who authorities say died while trying to cross the border into the United States. It focuses on the alarming number of immigrants who go missing before they reach American soil. The jury, headed by Mexico’s Michel Franco, who also had his film, New Order, play at the festival, delivered a statement:

“This fearless, magical, haunting and all-too-real film begins as a straight-line journey and then takes the viewer into a cinematic world where monsters are real. Focusing on a humanitarian crisis that has left empty villages and armies of people, this film is a comprehensive portrait of a tragedy. It is a breathtaking approximation of a war fable, and it can be associated with many places around the world that are internally at war. This outstanding first feature film from a group of exceptional artists refuses to set up any stereotypes about what a film made by women can be.”

The Golden Eye in the Focus Competition was awarded to Evi Romen’s Austrian film Why Not You. It follows a young dancer living in a small village, who has to face the loss of his beloved best friend Lenz, the victim of an attack in a gay club.

The Golden Eye in the Documentary Competition went to the US film Time, coming soon to Amazon Prime. Garrett Bradley had already won the directing award for the film in the documentary competition in Sundance. It follows Fox Rich and her husband Rob, who are said to have robbed a bank 21 years ago. While Fox got away with a minor sentence, Rob was sentenced to 60 years in Louisiana State Prison. Fox has been fighting for the pardon of her husband for two decades and records her family life with a video camera.

The Golden Eye for best series went to Denmark’s Cry Wolf by Maja Jul Larsen. The series follows 14-year-old Holly, who accuses her stepfather of raping her in a school essay. Holly’s mother and stepfather allege the serious allegations are fantasies and the search for the truth begins.

The Audience Award went to Karin Heberlein’s Swiss coming-of-age documentary, Sami, Joe and I. It follows an inseparable group of girls chatting and laughing as they roam the suburbs of Zurich after finishing school.

Zurich Film Festival ran from September 24 – October 4, 2020


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