The ‘Association for the Promotion of Film in Switzerland’ has nominated five Swiss film projects for this year’s Filmmaker Award at Zurich Film Festival. The aim of the award is to promote Swiss filmmaking by offering production sponsorship to the value of 100’000 Swiss francs. The second such award will be presented this year on September 24 during the IWC Gala Evening, held within the framework of the Zurich Film Festival.
The jury chose the following five finalists from the projects entered: the feature films LASST DIE ALTEN STERBEN from Juri Steinhart, PAPA MOLL from Manuel Flurin Hendry and FORTUNA from Germinal Rouax, as well as the documentary films DAS BLUE NOTE PROJEKT from Sophie Huber and BEYOND THE BOLEX from Alyssa Bolsey. Eligible to enter were Swiss filmmakers whose feature or documentary film projects (min. 60 minutes duration) were in need of top level or post-production funding.
The Filmmaker Award is a unique sponsorship prize in Switzerland. “The Swiss film scene boasts a remarkable degree of creativity and a wealth of ideas that really make it stand out. But sadly, it is difficult for many projects to reach completion due to the lack of sufficient film funding available,” says Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. The ‘Association for the Promotion of Film in Switzerland’ was initiated to tackle this deficit in 2015 by the CEO of IWC Georges Kern, the Zurich Film Festival Co-Directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri, the director Marc Forster and the CEO of Ringier Marc Walder.
The five nominees and their projects are:
LASST DIE ALTEN STERBEN
Production: David Fonjallaz, Louis Mataré (Lomotion AG)
Director: Juri Steinhart
Young, popular and full of boundless enthusiasm, Kevin still feels empty. Together with friends, therefore, he decides to found a commune anchored in the 80s. In pursuit of authentic experiences, the troop turns its back on the consumer world and waves goodbye to conventions. Juri Steinhart’s tragicomedy is an entertaining film with powerful role models. This project, with Max Hubacher as the main actor, is currently in the post-production phase.
Production: Reto Schaerli, Lukas Hobi (Zodiac Pictures Ltd.)
Director: Manuel Flurin Hendry
Papa Moll has been a permanent guest in Swiss kids’ bedrooms for the past six decades. This affectionate yet somewhat clumsy father and husband is known and loved throughout the entire country. Directed by Manuel Flurin Hendry, the success story centred on the Moll family is now coming to cinema screens with actor Stefan Kurt in the main role. The film is due to be released in Swiss cinemas at the end of 2017.
Production: Ruth Waldburger (Vega Film, Need Productions)
Director: Germinal Roaux
FORTUNA depicts in black and white images the collision of two worlds: African refugees in Simplon. Fortuna is a 14-year-old girl from the border region between Ethiopia and Eritrea. She has landed in Switzerland following an arduous journey, and is now spending the winter some 2’000 metres above sea level with a Catholic community in the monastery at Simplon while waiting to hear about her residency permit. Bruno Ganz puts in a stunning performance as the abbot.
DAS BLUE NOTE PROJEKT
Production: Hercil Bundi, Susanne Guggenberger (Mira Film GmbH)
Director: Sophie Huber
The film tells the story of the legendary American jazz record label. It places the music and the musicians in the foreground, and portrays the eternal quest for artistic expression – from the creation of groundbreaking Blue Note classics to the contemporary search for new forms of expression. With her keen musical instinct, director Sophie Huber makes jazz accessible to a much wider audience.
BEYOND THE BOLEX
Production: Werner Schweizer, Camilo Lara (Dschoint Ventschr)
Director: Alyssa Bolsey
Filmmaker Alyssa Bolsey discovered while in the USA that her great-grandfather, Jacques Bolsey, invented the much-loved Bolex movie camera some 80 years ago. Using a Bolex as her eyes and Jacques’ diary as a guide, Bolsey follows the footsteps of her great-grandfather on a journey back to her roots. This sensitive documentary about the revolutionary movie camera is currently in the production phase.
Image: Juri Steinhart, Ruth Waldenburg, Sophie Huber and Werner Schweizer (vL) at the press conference for the announcement of the 5 nominees for the Filmmaker Award 2016 on 13 September 2016 in Zurich. (PPR / Siggi Bucher)