New friends at Zurich Film Festival.

This year, I was lucky enough to be selected as part of the Zurich Film Academy, a 4 day film mentorship with curated workshops and masterclasses. 

One of 19 filmmakers from all over Europe and America, we all met in Zurich on the last week of the Zurich Film Festival 2023, and sat together listening to some of the icons of cinema as they spoke to us of their experiences.

Todd Haynes and his regular collaborator, producer Christine Vachon spoke of their early beginnings and their journey together as they began their own queer cinematic movement. Director Babak Jalali talked to us about his personal journey with filmmaking and his recent festival sweetheart Fremont that was also playing at Zurich. Crystal Moselle spoke of her documentaries, the ways in which she established a healthy relationship with her contributors and how she maintains momentum in a dwindling documentary market. 

I was also lucky enough to watch some great films playing at Zurich Film Festival- and discovered what I think might be the best film of the year for me personally - a Turkish masterpiece called Hesitation Wound, which also won Best Film at the festival. Watch it if you ever get a chance. 

All in all, my trip was an incredible experience, where I learnt from my peers and made lifelong friends with my fellow academy filmmakers. 

Thank you to the British Council for allowing me to travel to this beautiful mentorship programme. 

Viva la Zurich.  Viva la cinema.

_some images 

Last two photos by Ferda Demir - Getty Images 

Below - my fellow academy talent.