Zurich Fest: Female Directors Front-and-Center in German-Language Sidebar

The dark drama "Nothing Bad Can Happen" premiered in Cannes.
The dark drama "Nothing Bad Can Happen" premiered in Cannes.
 Festival de Cannes/PA

BERLIN – Female voices will be in focus at this year's Zurich Film Festival, with five out of the eight features picked for the event's German-language feature section directed by women.

Katrin Gebbe's critically-acclaimed debut Nothing Bad Can Happen (Tore Tanzt), which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section in Cannes this year, is heading to Zurich, as its Frauke Finsterwalder's debut Finsterworld, a dark take on the traditionally comforting German Heimatfilm genre. Heimatfilm movies were popular in the German-speaking world in the 1940s through the 1970s and typically featured simple stories of love, friendship and family in an outdoor setting of forests and mountains.

Two further first-timers, Katharina Muckstein and Isabell Suba, come to Zurich with, respectively, the mother-daughter tale Talea and the film industry critique Maenner zeigen Filme & Frauen ihre Brueste (Men Show Films & Women Their Breasts).

Meanwhile, Lola Randl brings her third feature to Zurich, The Invention of Love. The story of the film's production is even more dramatic than its plot: 26-year-old lead actress Maria Kwiatkowsky was found dead in her apartment shortly after she had begun work on the film. Director Randl rewrote the movie and began shooting a year later.

Rounding out the German-language competition section at the Zurich festival are Bastian Gunther's Texas-set corporate drama Houston featuring The Lives of Others actor Ulrich Tukur; the brothers drama Nordstrand from Florian Eichinger; and Marc Rensing's Die Frau Die Sich Traut, about a one-time competitive swimmer who, despite receiving a cancer diagnosis, tries to fulfill her dream of swimming the English Channel.

Acclaimed German actress Veronica Ferres (Rossini) will head up this year's German feature jury, together with X Filme producer Manuela Stehr (Good Bye, Lenin!); veteran Swiss writer/director Rolf Lyssy (The Swissmakers) and German producer Jochen Laube (The Day I Was Not Born).

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