• Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for IWC 

Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for IWC 

Related articles

Mariah Carey and Her Three Guinness Book of World Records
Mariah Carey and Her Three Guinness Book of World Records

This week, Mariah Carey broke three Guiness ...

read more
In the Memory of Grace Kelly's Anniversary
In the Memory of Grace Kelly's Anniversary

Our life has patterns and influential symbols ...

read more

Christoph Waltz Presents First Filmmaker Award At IWC Gala Event


28 September 2015

Oscar winner Christoph Waltz presented the first-ever Filmmaker Award last night. From the four nominated films, the jury picked two winners: "Und morgen seid ihr tot" ("Tomorrow You'll Be Dead") and "Europe, She Loves". The presentation took place at the IWC gala dinner held as part of the 11th Zurich Film Festival, to which the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer had invited some 200 VIP guests from the worlds of film, media, politics and commerce. The award, worth CHF 100,000 in sponsorship, was set up by the Association for the Promotion of Film in Switzerland, which was co-founded by IWC CEO Georges Kern. 

Christoph Waltz shot to fame with roles in "Inglourious Basterds" and "Django Unchained" by the American cult director Quentin Tarantino. The two-time Academy Award winner was in Zurich last night to present the first-ever Filmmaker Award during the IWC gala dinner, which celebrated the theme "For the Love of Cinema". The sponsorship award set up by the Association for the Promotion of Film in Switzerland (Verein zur Filmförderung in der Schweiz) is worth CHF 100,000 and is intended to give specifically designed support to promising film projects which are in the production or post-production stages. "I am proud to be here in person to present this award, which is very important for the Swiss film industry. Providing sponsorship for filmmakers is a necessary and relevant task, one which makes a significant contribution to the diversity of Swiss film," said Waltz.

Recognition for two Swiss film projects 
Two winners were picked from the four nominees. The main prize of CHF 75,000 went to producers Bernhard Burgener and Norbert Preuss and to director Michael Steiner for their project "Und morgen seid ihr tot". The film tells the true story of two Swiss citizens, Daniela Widmer and David Och, who were kidnapped by the Taliban in Pakistan in July 2011 and succeeded in making a spectacular escape after eight months spent in captivity. Shooting is planned to start in February 2016. The film will be directed by Michael Steiner, known for his works "Mein Name ist Eugen" and "Grounding". In addition, a prize of CHF 25,000 was awarded to producer Lisa Blatter from 2:1 Films for her project "Europe, She Loves". The film, which is directed by Jan Gassmann and is now in post-production, portrays five couples forced to draw deep on their reserves of wit and love as they struggle for everyday survival in a Europe shaken by the economic crisis. "The scripts of both these films stood out for their compelling storytelling and the exceptional sensitivity with which these two very different stories were told. Hopefully we'll be able to see both of them on the big screen soon," said IWC CEO Georges Kern.

Awards ceremony at exclusive IWC gala dinner
The presentation of the first-ever Filmmaker Award by the Association for the Promotion of Film in Switzerland was held as part of the IWC gala dinner at the 11th Zurich Film Festival. The two winning projects were also each presented with an IWC watch - the Portugieser Automatic in stainless steel with a black dial (Ref. IW500703) and a special rotor engraving with "1st Filmmaker Award Zurich 2015". The Schaffhausen luxury watch manufacturer had invited over 200 VIP guests from the worlds of film, media, politics and commerce to the exclusive event, which was held in line with the motto "For the Love of Cinema" at the Park Hyatt Zurich. Actor Christoph Waltz and director Marc Forster preceded the event with an appearance on the red carpet. After the dinner and the awards ceremony, which was accompanied by the music of the well-known Swiss blues musician Philipp Fankhauser, guests continued the party at Club Adagio into the small hours of the morning.

Milestone for the Swiss film industry
For director Marc Forster, who was also a member of the jury, the Filmmaker Award represents a real milestone for the domestic film industry. "By specifically backing projects in the pre- or post-production stages, we are plugging a gap in the existing funding available for films," he explained. The award was set up by the Association for the Promotion of Film in Switzerland, a non-profit organization founded last December by Marc Forster, IWC CEO Georges Kern, the co-directors of the Zurich Film Festival Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri, and the CEO of Ringier, Marc Walder. Invitations to the public to submit entries for the first Filmmaker Award were published in March 2015. Marc Forster, Georges Kern and Karl Spoerri chose four finalists from the many projects submitted. The other two nominated finalists along with "Und morgen seid ihr tot" and "Europe, She Loves" were the Swiss films "Goliath" and "Waffenläufer" ("The Gun Runner").

Firmly committed to the art of filmmaking
IWC Schaffhausen took on responsibilities as a co-partner of the Zurich Film Festival for the second time. "The partnership with this dynamic festival, which is increasingly establishing itself as an important meeting point for the film industry, is the perfect affirmation of our passion for film and the cinema," acknowledged Georges Kern. The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer had also set the stage for a very special highlight during the festival: under the heading "IWC Schaffhausen Talks To", selected guests of the Zurich Summit had a chance to listen to in-depth conversations with two world stars of cinema, Marc Forster and Christoph Waltz. "In IWC Schaffhausen, we are fortunate to have found a partner that supports the world of film with a real passion and commitment. The collaboration is a massive asset to our festival - not least because IWC always manages to bring top-level stars to Zurich," stressed Karl Spoerri.