The Zurich and San Sebastian film festivals, which tend to overlap in their late-September slots and traditionally try to pool resources, are teaming once again to deliver a special market initiative that the orgs hope will contribute to rejuvenating the beleaguered international film biz.
After months of pandemic disruption and cancellations, the European festival circuit is attempting to get going again, with Venice set to be the largest event to take place physically in this era on its September 2-12 dates. That will be closely followed by Spain’s San Sebastian (September 18-26) and Switzerland’s Zurich (September 24 – October 4), which are at this moment intending to also take place physically, barring significant second waves.
The Zurich Market initiative will run in the Swiss city September 25-28 and will present approximately 20 new titles to international buyers, with international sales agents invited to attend. The selected films will all be market premieres.
“Due to the ongoing global pandemic, many independent films with artistic merit were unable to hold market premieres and now threaten to remain without theatrical release,” said Christian Jungen, Artistic Director of the Zurich Film Festival. “We want to help them find a distributor and are therefore organizing the first Zurich Market together with our partner festival San Sebastián.”
“We want this initiative to serve as an opportunity for films unable to screen, to be shown to an audience of buyers and distributors and to do our bit in revitalizing the global film industry. We would also like to thank our friends at the Zurich Film Festival for the collaboration in this forward-looking initiative, starting this year”, added José Luis Rebordinos, Director of the San Sebastián Film Festival, which provides strategic support to the market, but will not host a physical event.
Alongside the market, Zurich will once again host its annual Summit, featuring key industry players. At present, the event says it is intending to take place physically, inviting participants from both Europe and North America.