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Zurich Film Festival Unveils German-Language Documentary Lineup

"Journey to Jah" looks at European reggae stars including Germany's Gentleman.

Subjects this year include European reggae, Swiss immigrants, Mideast border disputes and New York photographer Nan Goldin.

COLOGNE, Germany – Swiss immigration, European reggae music and the work of New York photographer Nan Goldin are some of the subjects in focus in the German-language documentary film competition of this year's Zurich International Film Festival.

The eight-film lineup, all of which are world premieres, includes Anna Thommen's Neuland, a look at young immigrants and refugees trying to find their place in Swiss society; Christian Heynen's Who is Thomas Muller? - a humorous look at the thousands of German men who share the country's most common name; and Sabine Lidl's Nan Goldin – I Remember Your Face, a look at the private and professional life of one of America's most acclaimed photographers.

Also in the lineup is Journey To Jah from directors Noel Dernesch and Moritz Springer, a music road trip in which German recording artist Gentleman and the Italian reggae singer Alborosie travel to Jamaica to discover the roots of the music that has made them stars in Europe.

In Beredikt Kuby's Der Bauer Bleibst Du, an 82-year-old farmer takes on a 20-year-old apprentice in hopes of passing on the agricultural tradition that has been in his family for 10 generations, while Service Ingegriffe from Eric Bergkraut is an intimate portrait of a traditional Swiss pub on the outskirts of Zurich.

Two titles in the Zurich documentary sidebar take on political hot topics: Das Erste Meer from Clara Trischler looks at Israeli settlements and Middle East border issues in the occupied territories, while Stefan Weinert's Die Familie explores the families whose loved ones were killed by East German border guards during the Cold War.

Swiss documentary filmmaker Markus Imhoof, whose More than Honey won the best documentary award at the German Film Awards this year, will head up the three-person jury judging the German documentary sidebar.

The ninth annual Zurich Film Festival runs Sept. 26–Oct. 6.