Zurich: Festival Unveils Competition Lineup

'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,' Justin Chon's 'Gook' among titles competing for Zurich's Golden Eye award.

Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Justin Chon's Korean American drama Gook; and Pororoca, the latest from Romanian auteur Constantin Popescu (Tales From the Golden Age) are among the titles selected for competition at this year's Zurich International Film Festival.

The Zurich line-up, announced Wednesday, is a compelling mix of U.S. and international art house titles, with highlights including Peter Mackie Burns' Daphne starring Emily Beecham; Venice Film Festival entry Under the Tree from Icelandic helmer Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson and Weightless, the feature debut of music video director Jaron Albertin, which stars Marc Menchaca, Julianna Nicholson and Johnny Knoxville.

In the documentary section, Zurich's competition line-up ranges from the overtly political — Orban Wallace's Another News Story, which looks at news teams tasked with turning Europe's refugee crisis into breaking news — to the intensely personal, including Coby from French director Christian Sonderegger, which follows the 21-year-old transgender man living in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

On the issue of gender equality, Zurich, with 38 films from female directors across all its sections, scores significantly better than most international festivals this year. Venice, infamously, had no female directors represented in its 2017 competition line-up. The ratio of female filmmakers in Zurich's three competition sections is between 35 percent and 40 percent.

“Of course there is a little bit of luck involved, but we are still very proud,” said Zurich festival co-director Karl Spoerri. “We have nothing to be ashamed of when considering the male-to-female ratio discussion currently occupying the film industry from Hollywood to Swiss cinema.”

The 2017 Zurich International Film Festival runs Sept. 28-Oct. 8.

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