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PRODUCTION Switzerland / Germany

Oliver Rihs begins shooting Storm

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- Three years after the comedy Monkey King, the Swiss director is starting principal photography on his new feature, which is being produced by Contrast Film

Oliver Rihs begins shooting Storm
Joel Basman in Storm

Besides the involvement of Zurich-based outfit Contrast Film as the majority producer, Storm is being co-produced by Germany’s Port-au-prince Films (Berlin) and Niama Film Stuttgard. ARTE, Swiss Television SRF, Bayerische Rundfunk and Teleclub have also boarded this particular venture. Oliver Rihs made a name for himself among audiences thanks to his cult 2006 movie Black Sheep, the box-office smash Ready, Steady, Ommm! (Solothurn Film Festival in 2013) and the more recent Monkey King (Zurich Film Festival in 2016). Boasting a budget of €4.2 million, his new effort, Storm, is one of the biggest film productions to be shot in Switzerland this year.

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The main character in Storm is idealistic lawyer Barbara Hug, who devotes her life to fighting back against the deplorable prison system in Switzerland in the 1980s. During her struggle, Barbara comes across an unexpected ally: international criminal Walter Storm, nicknamed “the jailbreak king”. One thing leads to another and – who knows? – perhaps the feelings that bind these unlikely partners will start to run deeper. Storm is an unconventional love story in which the fight for freedom and the characters’ emotions unashamedly intertwine.

Walter Storm is played by Joel Basman, one of today’s most sought-after Swiss actors, who won the 2019 Swiss Film Award for Best Actor (for Wolkenbruch's Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa [+see also:
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]
). Joel was one of the European Shooting Stars at the Berlinale in 2008 and is one of the cast members in the new Terrence Malick film, A Hidden Life [+see also:
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; he also appeared recently in Thomas Vinterberg’s Kursk [+see also:
film review
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interview: Thomas Vinterberg
film profile
]
. Stepping into the shoes of the female lead (Barbara Hug) is Marie Leuenberg, a two-time winner of the Swiss Film Award for Best Actress (for The Divine Order [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Petra Volpe
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]
two years ago and for Will You Marry Us? [+see also:
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in 2010) and the recipient of the Jury Award for Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival for her role in Petra Volpe’s movie. Meanwhile, young German actress Jella Haase will play an important supporting role (Heike Vollmer). Haase was also a European Shooting Star at the Berlinale and was nominated for the German Film Awards for her turn in the Suck Me Shakespeer [+see also:
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making of
interview: Jella Haase
film profile
]
trilogy by Bora Dagtekin. As for her current projects, Haase recently performed in the new movie by Burhan Qurbani, Alexanderplatz.

The director of photography will be Felix von Muralt (winner of the Swiss Film Award for Best Cinematography for 2016’s Little Mountain Boy [+see also:
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film profile
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), while musician and electronic music producer Beat Solèr will compose the score. The Swiss distribution of the film is being handled by Ascot-Elite Entertainment Group.

(Translated from Italian)

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