Zurich Film Festival: Jennifer Somm replaces SMP Managing Director Elke Mayer

Managing Director Elke Mayer has decided to pursue new career paths after ten years with Spoundation Motion Picture, or SMP for short. She will hand over the management of the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) marketing and event organization, which belongs to the NZZ, to Jennifer Somm.

Already in July, Jennifer Somm, formerly CEO of Bernexpo Groupe, will take over first tasks within SMP, before she will be responsible for the management from October on. Together with Christian Jungen, Artistic and Executive Director of the ZFF, Jennifer Somm will further develop the festival and its marketing as the new Managing Director SMP.

Elke Mayer started at SMP in 2012 and took over as Head of Sponsorship in 2016. She has been Managing Director since May 2020 and in this role has successfully developed the festival together with Christian Jungen, Artistic and Executive Director of the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF). The success is also reflected, among other things, in the fact that the ZFF has been the film festival with the largest audience in Switzerland over the past two years. Commenting on her decision, Elke Mayer says: "After having been able to significantly shape the development of the Zurich Film Festival over many years, most recently together with Christian as a well-established management team, I have decided to make a change professionally and make room for something new. What that will be, I leave open for myself. At the time of the staff handover, I will have helped shape and implement eleven festival editions. A good moment to hand over this task to new hands. The close and good cooperation with Christian and the team has always been central to the success and has given me great pleasure."

Start after the festival 2022

Elke Mayer will hand over her duties as Managing Director to Jennifer Somm at the beginning of October - after the 2022 edition of ZFF. To ensure a smooth transition, Jennifer Somm will already take over first tasks within SMP in July.

"Elke has played a central role in establishing the ZFF as a successful film festival. I regret her decision to leave the company, but I am pleased that together with Christian Jungen she will once again set a highlight with this year's festival," says Felix Graf, CEO of NZZ. "With Jennifer, we have found the right person to continue the successful growth course of the SMP and the ZFF in the future and to develop it strategically. She has a lot of leadership experience, excellent knowledge and a broad network in the event industry."

As CEO of Bernexpo Groupe from 2017 to 2021, Jennifer Somm was heavily involved in shaping the realignment of the long-established exhibition company. Other professional positions included managing Rufener Events Ltd. BSW (now MCH global) and working as a communications consultant at Jäggi Communications (now Burson Cohn & Wolfe).

In her new role, Jennifer Somm will work closely with Festival Director Christian Jungen. Jungen is looking forward to the collaboration: "Together, we want to further develop the SMP and the ZFF in a changed market environment and, especially in marketing with our partners, align them for the future. Before that, Elke and I will implement a great and inspiring festival together for a third time - I'm looking forward to that."

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