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Volker Bertelmann receives Career Achievement Award

Zürich, Sepember 30 2023

The Zurich Film Festival handed out its Golden Eye for "Best International Film Music" to the winner of the 11th International Film Music Competition this evening at the Tonhalle Zurich. He received the award from the hands of the German film composer Volker Bertelmann, this year's jury president. Bertelmann was subsequently honoured with the Career Achievement Award.

Filmmusic expert Felix Strobel conducts the Tonhalle-Zürich Orchester © Gaëtan Bally

The composer and Academy Award-winner Volker Bertelmann received the Career Achievement Award this evening at the Tonhalle Zurich. He accepted the award during the 11th International Film Music Competition and, appearing delighted with the honour.

Each year, the Zurich Film Festival honours celebrated filmmakers who have shaped and enriched the film landscape. As a virtuoso pianist, Volker Bertelmann has composed some truly iconic music. His extraordinary, invariably authentic and multi-layered compositions serve to underscore each film's narrative. He wrote his most successful composition to date for ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (2022). The anti-war movie won four Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best Original Score. «The minimal three-tone motif literally hovers over Edward Berger's battlefields. As it penetrates deep under our skin, it provokes a profound sense of indeterminate melancholy,” says Artistic Director Christian Jungen. "Bertelmann's insatiable search for new sonic answers to cinematic effects can now be experienced in over thirty soundtracks, and I have a feeling this is just the beginning. It’s already a life’s work.»

As jury president of the 11th International Film Music Competition, Bertelmann in turn presented Elliot Murphy with the 10'000 CHF Golden Eye for Best International Film Music. The five-member jury made up of Volker Bertelmann, conductor Frank Strobel, composer Mark Bächle, director Sophie Linnenbaum und director Gabrielle Selnet begründet explained their decision: "His music gives the film an additional identity that is very much its own without overwhelming the visual, making you wish you couldn't see the film without the music."

Elliot Murphy is the winner of the 11th International Film Music Competition
© Gaëtan Bally

For the 11th International Film Music Competition, emerging composers were invited to score the short film AU REVOIR JÉRÔME. The jury, led by Volker Bertelmann, selected three from the 153 submissions from each of the world's continents. These were premiered at the Tonhalle Zurich by the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich under the baton of Frank Strobel.

The evening was rounded off with a concert featuring excerpts from films like ALL QUITE ON THE WESTERN FRONT by Volker Bertelmann, AVATAR by James Horner and ATONEMENT by Dario Marianelli.

A special thanks goes to the Else v. Sick Stiftung, the Freundeskreis Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and the Fondation SUISA, Isaac Dreyfus-Bernheim Stiftung, Schweizerischen Kulturstiftung für Audiovision and the Stiftung Phonoproduzierende for their kind support.

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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