The world premiere of Bruno Manser – Die Stimme des Regenwaldes (Bruno Manser – The Voice of the Rainforest) directed by Niklaus Hilber and starring Sven Schelker, will open the 15th Zurich Film Festival on September 26., 2019.
Bruno Manser – Die Stimme des Regenwaldes (Bruno Manser – The Voice of the Rainforest) is Switzerland’s answer to Apocalypse Now: after preparations spanning almost ten years, director Niklaus Hilber finally shot the adventurous life of environmental activist Bruno Manser (1954-2000) under dire conditions in the rainforest. He also employed a large lay-cast of Penan locals who communicate in their own language. With a budget of 6 million Swiss francs, this is the largest-scale Swiss production in recent years. This highly topical epic adventure movie offers breath-taking scenery, a brilliant Sven Schelker in the title role and a soundtrack composed by Oscar winner Gabriel Yared (The English Patient).
“Playing out over several continents, Bruno Manser is a captivating contemporary record that could not be more up to date: the film highlights how important the rainforest is for our biosystem and pays tribute to an environmental activist who pushed himself to the limit for his convictions. It is also serves somewhat as a leitmotif for this year’s festival edition, within which ‘green’ films play an important role”, say the fest’s two Co-Directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri.
“Bruno Manser – Die Stimme des Regenwaldes (Bruno Manser – The Voice of the Rainforest) is most certainly the most ambitious and most important film project of my career,” says director Niklaus Hilber. “Almost 20 years after his disappearance, Bruno Manser’s story is more relevant now than ever before. As the Amazon burns to the ground and globalisation and its insatiable appetite for natural resources makes protecting forests all the more urgent, we remember a man who embodied the fight against deforestation of the rainforests throughout the 80s and 90s. I am delighted that it is with this film that I have the privilege of opening this year’s ZFF.”
This is Hilber’s second film at the ZFF. He previously won the Audience Award with his 2015 production Amateur Teens.