Zurich: Juho Kuosmanen's 'Happiest Day' Wins International Film Competition

Hymyileva Mies -The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki-Still 1-H 2016
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

The black-and-white boxing drama is Finland's entry in the best foreign-language film Oscar category.

Juho Kuosmanen's The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki has won the best international film honor at this year's Zurich Film Festival.

The black-and-white drama about the build-up to the 1962 world featherweight championship match between Finnish country baker Olli Maki and U.S. titleholder Davey Moore marks an impressive debut for Kuosmanen. The feature won the Un Certain Regard prize in Cannes on its debut this year and has been picked to represent Finland in the Oscar race for best foreign-language film.

Zurich's best documentary honor went to Mrs B., A North Korean Woman, the second feature from French-educated, Seoul-based documentarian Jero Yun. Compiled from footage shot over three years, the pic chronicles the disillusionment of a North Korean defector who goes from being a people smuggler to life as a lowly office janitor in Seoul.

The prize for best German-language feature went to Hidden Reserves from Austrian director Valentin Hitz. The dystopian vision imagines a future Vienna in which people no longer have a right to die but are kept artificially alive until they are no longer physically or mentally useful for the economy. Clemens Schick stars as “death insurance” salesman Vincent Baumann.

The emerging Swiss talent award for best Swiss film in the Zurich lineup when to Jan Gassmann's Europe, She Loves, a look at down-and-out twentysomethings in modern-day Europe.