Zurich: 'Joker,' 'Marriage Story' and 'Judy' Among Gala Premieres

Joker Still 1 - Warner Bros. Entertainment Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

The Swiss festival unveils its star galas, including 'The Burnt Orange Hersey,' 'Radioactive' and Ron Howard's opera documentary 'Pavarotti.'

The Zurich Film Festival has selected some of the buzziest films out of the Venice Film Festival for its own gala premieres, picking Warner Bros.; dark comic book adaptation Joker, Noah Baumbach's divorce drama Marriage Story and Giuseppe Capotondi's The Burnt Orange Hersey, Venice's closing-night film, to grace the famously green carpet of the Swiss event.

Several hot Toronto titles — including Roger Michell's Blackbird starring Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska; Marjane Satrapi's Marie Curie biopic Radioactive with Rosamund Pike; James Mangold's Le Mans racing drama Ford vs. Ferrari; and Renee Zellweger-starrer Judy, about the late Judy Garland — will also get Zurich gala premieres.

Among the European highlights this year are Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano's The Specials, about two men — played by French stars Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb — who teach kids with autism; Christian Schwochow's The German Lesson, a drama set in a reform school in post-War Germany; and Jonas Alexander Arnby's Danish mystery thriller Suicide Tourist, featuring Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Music is a central part of the Zurich festival program — the Swiss event holds an annual original film music contest — and this year it will celebrate the late opera star Luciano Pavarotti with the Swiss premiere of Ron Howard's documentary Pavarotti. Pavarotti's widow, Nicoletta Mantovani, will travel to Zurich for the Swiss premiere of the film.

The 2019 Zurich Film Festival kicks off Sept. 26 and runs through Oct. 6.