The Zurich Film Festival unveiled its gala premiere lineup Thursday, with highlights including many of the fan favorites from the 2023 festival season.
Among the lineup is Todd Haynes’ melodrama May December, starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, the Anne Hathaway/Thomasin McKenzie psychological thriller Eileen from director William Oldroyd and Tran Anh Hung’s foodie French romance film The Pot-Au-Feu. Eileen was a hit out of Sundance, whereas both May December and The Pot-Au-Feu were buzzy titles in Cannes.
All are strong award-season contenders, as is Zurich gala title Nyad, which will have its world premiere in Toronto. The real-life tale of Diana Nyad, a long-distance swimmer who, at 60, becomes obsessed with completing a 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, stars Annette Bening as Nyad and Jodie Foster as her friend and coach Bonnie Stoll. Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi directed.
Zurich also has three world premieres on its gala line-up: Kilian Riedhof’s Stella. A Life, Hans Steinbichler’s A Whole Life and Michael Noer’s Birthday Girl.
In Stella, Undine and Transit star Paula Beer plays Stella Goldschlag, a Jewish girl in Nazi Berlin who, after narrowly escaping deportation with her parents, is forced into working with the Gestapo. Steinbichler’s drama A Whole Life is a story of the 20th century, told through the experiences of the orphan Andreas Egger over 80 years of hardship, conflict, violence and romance. Stefan Górski, August Zirner and Julia Franz Richter star. In Birthday Girl, Danish star Trine Dyrholm (Queen of Hearts, In a Better World) plays Nanna, a mother whose plans to celebrate her daughter’s 18th birthday with a dream vacation turn in to a nightmare.
Zurich will announce its full line-up on September 18. The 2023 Zurich Film Festival runs from September 28 to October 8.