Director of ‘The Swissmakers’ honoured in Zurich

Rolf Lyssy at the Zurich Film Festival in 2017 Keystone

Rolf Lyssy, director of the most successful Swiss film ever, has been awarded the Career Achievement Award at the Zurich Film Festival. His new film, Eden für Jeden (Eden for Everyone), celebrated its world premiere afterwards.

This content was published on September 28, 2020

Several of Lyssy’s films will be shown at the festival, including his first feature film Konfrontation (1974), the documentaries Ein Trommler in der Wüste (A Drummer in the Desert) (1992) and Ursula – Leben in Anderswo (Ursula – Life Elsewhere) (2011). And, of course, the comedy Die Schweizermacher (1978).

Die Schweizermacher (The Swissmakers) is by far the most successful Swiss film ever (in Switzerland) – it’s estimated that a fifth of the population saw it in the cinema on its release in 1978. Inspired by a practice that still continues, the satire focuses on two cantonal police officers responsible for checking out people who are trying to become Swiss – and the bureaucratic hurdles these people have to overcome.

In 2016 Lyssy told why the film remains so popular and why it stands the test of time:

On Tuesday Lyssy, 84, will talk about his career in a masterclass at the Zurich Film Festival.

Eden for Everyone is a feel-good comedy about multicultural Switzerland. It is set in a Zurich allotment called Eden in which a cultural kaleidoscope of Italians, Kosovars, Portuguese, Swiss, Christians and Muslims all rub shoulders on their own little patch of Switzerland, experiencing various ups and downs along the way.

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