The Zurich Film Festival co-founders Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri are stepping down from their roles at the festival in 2020.
After 15 years at the helm, during which time Zurich has become a starry European destination for autumn festival movies, artistic director Spoerri will hand the reins over to Christian Jungen, chief cultural editor at German language film publication NZZ Am Sonntag. Jungen will join the festival’s programming team in May 2019 as a Senior Programmer.
The search for a successor to Schildknecht, who has been responsible for the festival’s financing, events, sponsorship and marketing, is also underway.
Also in her last year at the festival is Senior Programmer and executive Viviana Vezzani who has been in charge of the Gala Premieres strand and who has run the festival’s international guest and talent department. She will remain an adviser for the festival.
“It is our wish that in the long term we can transfer operational management to other hands. 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,” commented Schildknecht and Spoerri.
“Christian Jungen has a comprehensive track record and extensive experience in the film industry. He is an important voice in film criticism and very well connected in the industry”, added Spoerri. “We are very pleased that he will take over the artistic direction of the ZFF”, concluded Schildknecht.
From 2011 to 2017 Jungen was President of the Swiss Association of Film Journalists. From 2013 to 2018 he was a member of the Zurich Film Commission.
The 15th Zurich Film Festival takes place from this year from September 26 to October 6. The program will be announced on September 12, 2019.