Swiss President Doris Leuthard is expected to be present for the opening ceremony at the 13th edition – which this year places a special emphasis on the works of women directors – on Thursday September 28th in Zurich.
"We are very proud to be screening no less than 38 films by female directors,” said festival co-director Karl Spoerri in a press release.
Glenn Close will receive a Golden Icon Award, as will US actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin will also be honoured, with a Career Achievement Award, at this year's festival.
Actresses Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche and Rossy de Palma star in some of the main films in this year's competition, while female directors Claire Denis and Sophie Fiennes present new films at the festival.
“The proportion of women in the three competition sections is even higher at between 35% and 40%. We have nothing to be ashamed of when considering the male to female ratio discussion currently occupying the film industry from Hollywood to Swiss cinema,” commented the organizers.
This year's festival also goes beyond science fiction to look for "bridges" between science and cinema.
The groups will hold a series of discussions at the festival around the theme of "how to build a bridge between research and film."
Fringe events include exhibitions, an amateur film contest for 72-second films produced in 72 hours, a James Bond-themed music competition and concert, a food lounge, parties and industry-focused events for film professionals.
Credit Suisse, UPC, BMW and Etihad Airways are the 2017 main partners of the Zurich Film Festival. The festival dates are September 28th to October 8th.