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Peter Doherty rocks the ZFF

Zurich, August 29, 2023

The 19th Zurich Film Festival's Sounds section celebrates the relationship between film and music in all its diverse aspects. As guest and headliner of the music programme, English musician Peter Doherty will present the World Premiere of PETER DOHERTY: STRANGER IN MY OWN SKIN, an intimate film portrait of his fascinating and tumultuous rock-star life. The Zurich public can also look forward to his live performance after the screening as a ZFF exclusive. In addition to this highlight, the Sounds section offers even more audio-visual delights with further music film screenings and live performances.  

 © Wendy Productions / Federation Studios

The Sounds section was first launched at the 18th Zurich Film Festival. The programme showcases feature and documentary films with a musical theme or about music makers, as well as works that feature exceptional soundtracks. "The film PETER DOHERTY: STRANGER IN MY OWN SKIN is a twofold minor sensation. Firstly, the ZFF gets to present it to the public as a world premiere," enthuses Christian Jungen, Artistic Director of the ZFF. "Secondly, the protagonist Peter Doherty will present the film in person. The biopic chronicles the English rock star who, after reaching the pinnacle of his career, sinks into the depths of a serious drug addiction. His wife, director and musician Katia deVidas, followed the wild life of "The Libertines" frontman at close quarters for over ten years. We're looking forward to welcoming them both to Zurich." Peter Doherty will exhibit his musical prowess on the evening of the world premiere!

The Sounds section programme also includes more special screenings and additional events this year. For example, an ensemble put together by Johannes Fleischmann will perform a live version of Arnold Schönberg's string sextet "Verklärte Nacht" as part of the film screening of FIORETTA.

In addition to the special programme, a selection of music films will play first fiddle. A total of six feature films and documentaries will be shown, all focusing for once on the soundtrack.

The film CATCHING FIRE - THE STORY OF ANITA PALLENBERG by Alexis Bloom and Svetlana Zill tells the story of Anita Pallenberg, who embodied sex, drugs & rock 'n' roll like no other woman during the 60s and 70s. The German actress came to fame, among other things, through her relationships with various members of the Rolling Stones. The documentary, which celebrated its world premiere at Cannes, boasts private archive footage, the voice of Scarlett Johansson reading from Anita's unpublished memoirs, and stories from her companions.


© Federation Studios


World Premiere
France, 2023
Director: Katia deVidas
Protagonist: Peter Doherty

Discover English punk singer-songwriter and Libertines' legendary frontman, Peter Doherty, as he plunges into the depths of addiction at the very height of his popularity. Over a period of 10 years, Peter Doherty was intimately filmed by director-musician Katia deVidas who shot over 200 hours of exclusive footage. We experience, in the artist’s own words, Doherty’s moving and emotionally charged fight to overcome his demons and emerge from darkness back into the light.


© Catching Fire – The Story of Anita Pallenberg


USA, 2023
Director: Alexis Bloom, Svetlana Zill
Protagonists: Marianne Faithfull, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Moss

This intimate documentary reveals the story of an unapologetic rock ‘n’ roller, actress, muse and mother who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s. Using the words of her unpublished memoir, Anita draws us deep into her world, with the help of a supporting cast that includes her family - Marlon, Angela, and their father Keith Richards. Never-seen-before home movies and family photographs explore life with the Rolling Stones: this is a bittersweet tale of both triumph and heartbreak. From Barbarella to the Swiss Alps, and the Lower East Side of New York, Anita Pallenberg was a woman ahead of her time.


© PMG Platform Media Group


International Premiere
USA, Czech Republic, 2023
Director: Matthew Mishory
Protagonists: Eric Randol Schoenberg, Joey Schoenberg, Serena Nono, Arnie Schoenberg

Filmed on location in Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; Venice, Italy; Florence, Italy; and Los Angeles, United States, FIORETTA follows Randy Schoenberg and his son Joey on a journey through Europe (and the centuries) as they reclaim and reunite the fractured shards of 500 years of family history. Along the way, they encounter kings, mystics, and a false messiah, as well as the ordinary people who witnessed Europe’s distant and recent past.


© Film Constellation


International Premiere
Spain, France, 2023
Director: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal
Protagonists: Jeff Goldblum, Caetano Veloso, João Gilberto

A New York music journalist goes on a quest to uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of young Brazilian piano virtuoso Tenório Jr. A celebratory origin story of the world-renowned Latino musical movement Bossa Nova. THEY SHOT THE PIANO PLAYER captures a fleeting time bursting with creative freedom at a turning point in Latin American history in the 60s and 70s, just before the continent was engulfed by totalitarian regimes.


© The Yellow Affair


UK, 2023
Director: Janis Pugh
Protagonists: Louise Brealey, Annabel Scholey, Emily Aston

A film of love and loss set amongst the falling feathers of a chicken factory. Featuring the inspiring music of Neil Diamond, Janis Ian, Minnie Riperton and others. Present day, industrial North Wales. Helen, late 30’s, spends her nights packing chickens and her days caring for dying mother-figure Gwen. Helen’s mundane world takes a surprising turn with Joanne’s return; they were the objects of the other’s secret teenage passions. Encouraged by Helen, Joanne starts a playful wooing game. As they fall in love, Helen’s zest for life returns but Joanne feels the walls close in as she faces something darker from her past. Helen’s world shatters when Gwen dies and Joanne’s painful memories make her flee. Both women reflect on their unfulfilled chance before finding the courage to let go of the past and allow their love to win.


© Screenocean / Reuters Pictures / Damir Sagolj


Swiss Premiere
USA, Irland, 2023
Director: Nenad Cicin-Sain
Protagonists: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton

The inescapably current story of defiance amid the 1990s Siege of Sarajevo. An underground community uses music and art to effect change and garner global attention, and the tale of a post-war concert by U2 that celebrates the city’s hard-fought triumph over ethnic nationalism.


SoundTrack_Zurich is the three-day specialist event on film and media music that takes place as part of the Zurich Film Festival. The conference hosts a series of panels, networking sessions, case studies and workshops that address current issues in today's film and media music scene. SoundTrack_Zurich is curated by Michael P. Aust (SoundTrack_Cologne) and organised by FFM (Forum Filmmusik), in collaboration with the ZFF (Zurich Film Festival), the Tonhalle Society Zurich, the ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts), IMMSANE (International Media Music and Sound Arts Network in Education) and SoundTrack_Cologne.

The 4th edition of SoundTrack_Zurich will take place from 29 September to 1 October 2023.

Zurich Film Festival

The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) is the second largest festival in the German-speaking world. Over 11 days in autumn, it presents the greatest discoveries and the year’s most anticipated movies. The ZFF promotes exchange between upcoming directors, established filmmakers, the film industry and the general public. Last year's ZFF attracted over 137,000 spectators and thousands of accredited film and media professionals from all over the world.

The 19th edition takes place from September 28 until October 8, 2023

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