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ZURICH 2020 ZFF Industry

FOCAL’s Audience & Market Strategies wraps in Zurich


- Producer Noah Bohnert was the big winner for Tillo Spreng’s debut feature, Wound, at the end of the programme’s showcase event

FOCAL’s Audience & Market Strategies wraps in Zurich
Noah Bohnert pitching the winning project, Wound (© Josef Brunner/Zurich Film Festival)

The innovative Audience & Market Strategies programme, organised by FOCAL, has wrapped its first, pilot edition with a showcase of the participating projects during the Zurich Film Festival’s ZFF Industry section. The announcement of the winning project was made on 25 September at the Kosmos cinema.

The three-module training programme was designed for seven experienced Swiss producers – plus two film-industry professionals without projects, who acted as observers – aiming to enhance their skills in marketing, national and international distribution, and legal issues through sessions and individual meetings with renowned international experts.

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At the third and final module at ZFF Industry, the jury (comprising Paolo Moretti, General Delegate of the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight; Annina Wettstein, programmer at IFF Rotterdam, Sven Wälti, head of co-production at SRG SSR; Ursula Widmer, marketing director in Switzerland for Warner Bros; and Wendy Mitchell, journalist and film festival consultant) picked Noah Bohnert, of Zurich-based Letterbox Collective Filmproduktion, as the winner of the Audience & Market Strategies main prize, after he had pitched Tillo Spreng’s debut feature, Wound. The script for the movie has been co-penned with Stefan Staub (Midnight Runner [+see also:
film review
interview: Hannes Baumgartner
film profile
, 2018).

Wound is a coming-of-age teenage romantic drama with elements of horror, which follows 16-year-old Malik, who is sent to the countryside to improve his mental health. There, a mysterious, unnatural wound starts to appear on his chest. At the same time, he has a crush on Lina, the tough and resilient daughter of the farming family that is hosting him. When she touches his wound, an erotic sensation arises that will create an unexpected tension between them.

It should be noted that the first Audience & Market Strategies workshop was held in July, and there, the participating producers presented a title, a synopsis, a list of key scenes for still photography, a mood board for the artwork, a draft press kit and a P&A plan for the Swiss theatrical release. At the second workshop, which was held online in early September, the participants discussed their marketing strategy, their festival and sales strategy, and a sales pitch outline. During the final module, apart from the pitching sessions, a series of discussions with high-profile industry experts took place at the Zurich Film Festival.

According to FOCAL, the next edition of Audience & Market Strategies will be confirmed soon, and the call for projects will be announced shortly.

Here is a list of all the participants in Audience & Market Strategies:

Noah Bohnert (Letterbox Collective Filmproduktion GmbH)
Project: Wound - Tillo Spreng

David Fonjallaz (Lomotion)
Project: The Fighter - Juri Steinhart

Rajko Jazbec (CognitoFilms)
Project: Once We Were Pitmen - Christian Johannes Koch, Jonas Matauschek (documentary)

Sonja Kilbertus (Mirafilm GmbH)
Project: Our Money - Hercli Bundi (documentary)

Francine Lusser (Tipi’mages Productions)
Project: Back to Alexandria - Tamer Ruggli

Michela Pini (8horses)
Project: Electric Child - Simon Jaquemet

Véronique Vergari (Framevox Production)
Project: Orpheus - Stéphane Riethauser


Nicola Bernasconi (Rough Cat)
Daniel Howald (SwissDok)

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