After following the construction of the Beijing Olympic Games stadium by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron in the documentary Bird’s Nest (co-directed by Michael Schindhelm), Schaub recounts one New Year’s Eve in Zurich in Happy New Year. This ensemble film brings together the finest Swiss actors, including Bruno Cathomas (2008 Swiss Film Prize for his performance in Chicken mexicaine), Shooting Stars Nils Althaus (Breakout [trailer]), Johanna Bantzer (The Friend [trailer]) and Joel Basman (Luftbusiness), alongside Katharina von Bock (Hilde’s Journey).
Unusually for Switzerland, where film distribution varies according to the different linguistic regions (German, French and Italian-speaking), Happy New Year will have an almost simultaneous domestic release for it will be launched in German-speaking theatres on November 13 and in French-speaking cinemas a week later.
Gerber’s debut feature, Tag am Meer, is set on the other hand in summertime Zurich. The 30-year-old protagonist (Dominique Jann) – who is torn between his ex-girlfriend (Doris Schefer) and a 20-year-old girl (Patricia Mollet-Mercier) – experiences an existential crisis.
Renowned for his comedies co-helmed with Germany’s Stefan Hillebrand (When the Right One Comes Along, Wir werden uns wiederseh’n), Paulus has this time single-handedly directed a Bollywood-inspired melodrama. Tandoori Love explores the love affair between a Swiss waitress and a cook in an Indian film team who have come to shoot in Bern Oberland.
Three Swiss documentaries will also have their German premiere at the Hof Film Days. These include Felix Tissi’s Desert: Who Is the Man? (Balzli & Fahrer), Gaël Metroz’s Nomad’s Land - Sur les traces de Nicolas Bouvier (“Nomad’s Land: Retracing the Journey of Nicolas Bouvier”, Tipi’mage) and Kevin Merz’s Glorious Exit (Amka Film), which has just picked up the Grand Prize at the Ourense International Film Festival (Spain).
Mathieu Loewer cineuropa.org