Piet Baumgartner finishes filming Baggerdrama
by Teresa Vena
- The shoot for the Swiss construction-site drama, which stars Bettina Stucky in the lead role, took place in August and September in and around Berne
During the month of August and the beginning of September, the shoot for Baggerdrama (lit. “Excavator Drama”), the first feature by Swiss director Piet Baumgartner, took place. The filmmaker has recently been working on his first feature-length documentary, The Driven Ones [+see also:
film profile], which will celebrate its world premiere at this year's imminent Zurich Film Festival. Before he graduated from the ZhdK film school in Zurich, Baumgartner worked as a journalist and gained some initial experience as a theatre director.
The shoot for this drama, which focuses on the topic of family, took place in Berne and its surroundings. The story poses the question: can happiness possibly be found outside the traditional family structure, too? The movie revolves around a family-run company that rents out, sells and repairs excavators. The family members are father Paul, mother Conny and son Daniel, and they have to work together. The daughter has passed away, and although no one is to blame for her accidental death, they all feel guilty, and their idyllic family life is increasingly falling apart. The mother wants to take her time to grieve, the father wants to look to the future, and the son is fighting to become independent. Besides these three characters, the fourth main role in the film is played by the titular excavators: their movements follow a kind of choreography and musicality, like a poetic dance or a graceful ballet.
The feature stars talented Swiss actress Bettina Stucky (My Brother, My Love [+see also:
film profile], The Divine Order [+see also:
interview: Petra Volpe
film profile]), Swiss-British actor Phil Hayes (The Dreamed Path [+see also:
film profile]) and young German thesp Vincent Furrer (Stationspiraten [+see also:
interview: Max Hubacher - Shooting Sta…
film profile]). All three have solid experience as stage actors. Stucky has been part of the ensemble of the Schauspielhaus Hamburg since the 2013-14 season; she has been awarded several accolades, including the Swiss Film Prize in 2004 and the national Swiss Theatre Prize in 2019. Hayes is an important figure in the independent Swiss theatre scene; for many years, he has been part of performance and theatre projects that have been exhibited in Switzerland and internationally. Furrer studied at the Berlin Academy of Dramatic Arts “Ernst Busch”, for which he received a scholarship from the Armin Ziegler Foundation. Since the 2021-2022 season, he has been a member of the troupe at the Theater Ulm.
Baggerdrama is a co-production between production company Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion in Zurich and Swiss TV channel SRF. Financing has been provided by the Zurich Film Foundation, the Bernese Film Fund and Suissimage.
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