Heidi, a Swiss film that has so far enjoyed dazzling success
by Muriel Del Don
- The latest film by Swiss director Alain Gsponer is enjoying huge success in German, Austrian, Portuguese and Swiss cinemas, and it’s just getting started
Heidi [+see also:
film profile], a German-Swiss co-production by director Alain Gsponer and the film adaptation of a classic in German-speaking Swiss literature, is still climbing the ladder of success. Released just five weeks ago, the film has already set a record for Swiss cinema with more than a million and a half admissions. That makes Heidi the country’s highest-grossing release internationally, an important achievement for Swiss film.
Turning to world sales rights (in the hands of French company Studiocanal), the film has already been sold in approximately 50 countries in Europe and across the pond, a roaring success in terms of international sales. The legendary book by Johanna Spyri upon which the film is based has brought Alain Gsponer fame well beyond national borders.
Behind Heidi is a top Swiss team: Bruno Ganz, a truly international star (Bread and Tulips, Wings of Desire) plays the surly Alpöhi, whilst Petra Volpe (the director of the multi-award-winning Traumland) wrote the screenplay and Niki Reiser (who has done the music for a lot of films by Dani Levy and Caroline Link) wrote the score. The director, Alain Gsponer, made his directorial debut in 2005 with Rose, which was awarded the Deutsche Fernsehpreis in the category for best film (2007). The production of this large-scale project, which cost €7 million to make, was led by Lukas Hobi and Reto Schaerli of Zodiac Pictures (Zurich and Lucerne).
Heidi storms ahead meanwhile on its incredible journey, heading to Turkey (January), France and Italy (10 February and 3 March). Its next European stops after that will be Spain, Iceland, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The film will be screened at the Berlin International Film Festival as part of the LOLA section.
(Translated from Italian)