Zurich film festival honours Americans, Austrian, Swiss

Organisers of the seventh Zurich Film Festival awarded two Americans, an Austrian and a Swiss movie maker with the coveted Golden Eye award on Saturday, a statement said.

American director Jeff Nichols won the international feature film category for his thriller “Take Shelter”, which was also awarded at the Festival of American Film in Deauville, France, last month, and the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The film starring Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham and Katy Mixon, portrays the life an unassuming man afflicted by nightmares.

The Golden Eye for international documentary went to the American Cindy Meehl, for “Buck”, the story of a real-life “horse whisperer”.

Austrian Karl Markovics was honoured in the German-language section for his film “Atmen”, which recounts the story of a 19-year-old released after four years in youth detention.

Swiss movie maker Nick Brandestini won the German-language documentary prize with “Darwin” about a Californian town by the same name.

Each Golden Eye earned its winner a cheque for 20,000 francs (about $22,000).

The festival, which opened on September 22nd, draws to a close on Sunday, having given American actor Sean Penn a life-time achievement award and bestowing on Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski an award he was unable to receive two years ago due to his arrest in a decades-old child sex case.

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