Unterägeri, 26.05.2020

Filmmaker wins prestigious award

Antonia Durisch (24) from Unterägeri has caused a stir with her first international short film as a producer.

A film is a piece of art on the move. Whether the finished film will appeal to the critics and the audience won’t be decided until after the premiere. From this point of view, the film producer Antonia Durisch from Unterägeri can be more than satisfied with her international debut "Cru" (see box). The young woman took the stage at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood at the world premiere last year.

As the manager of "Cru", which was produced by the Zurich University of the Arts (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste), Durisch  would have liked the delegation at the HollyShorts Film Festival to have been a little larger: "The invitation was made at very short notice. Only the director David Oesch and I were able to make the journey there."

Unwanted in Locarno
It is astonishing that the ten-minute short film by the two Swiss filmmakers didn’t make it onto the programme at the traditional film festival in Locarno. The selectors from Ticino may well have regretted their decision when the Swiss film "Cru" was among the winners at the prestigious Tribeca Festival in the US state of New York.

In the USA, film icon Sheila Nevins presented the ‘Student Visionary Award’ to the young filmmakers and exuberantly praised her work. The excellent performance of the film, which costs only CHF 4,550, is astonishing for another reason: the actors speak French. But this Swiss film is, of course, subtitled In English.

Antonia Durisch's biggest dream is to be invited to present "Cru". at her favourite film festival in Zurich.  But she knows that this is not an easy goal. " A lot of passion and sweat have to flow in order to achieve goals. Having mastered such a complex large-scale project, you are simply proud, even if you are not as celebrated in your home country as much as you are internationally," she says.

The fact that a lot of passion has flowed into the project is clear, because the film critics have showered the young talents with praise. Kurt Brokaw, senior film critic at The Independent UK, wrote privately: "A student film has never won the Oscar for the best live short film. Maybe you'll get the ball rolling. Good luck!”

Photo 1. Antonia Durisch is enjoying the moment of success, but also knows about the transience of fame.
Photo 2: The Luxembourger Jeanne Werner plays the leading role in "Cru".

Lifeblood from the heart - yes, the film itself was certainly that. In this short film, blood – and the producer doesn't reveal too much about the content – even makes an unexpected point.

The two artists met at the Zug Film Days
The film producer Antonia Durisch and the director David Oesch discovered their common calling in the aftermath of the Zug Film Days (Zuger Filmtage) three years ago. They immediately plunged into their first film adventure together without wasting any time. The designated director Oesch had a "classic screenplay" in his hand. The headline: scenes of stress in a kitchen.

It was now up to Durisch to prepare everything for the shoot, because she was the only manager among the artists. As "Cru" is a film about food and its creation, the requirements for the filming locations were quickly defined. "We were lucky in seeing in an advertisement that a kitchen would be broken down in Zurich," says Durisch. The film crew had to move to Bern for the restaurant scene however -  and improvisation was certainly necessary from time to time.

Other skills were also required: "Jonas van der Kleij, one of my best men and set recording manager for "Cru", was even able to help me repair a broken pipe on a shooting day." Without lots of goodwill at all levels, such a project would not be feasible.

Many people were involved
The Luxembourger Jeanne Werner, who flew in from Vienna, gives a striking face to “Cru". "She prepared herself intensively for her role in the kitchen, by looking at many different types of kitchen," says Antonia Durisch enthusiastically. Jeanne-Vera Bourguignon, who is responsible for the equipment and costumes, managed to merge not only the kitchen interior and the clothes of those who work there. When one and the other was unexpectedly missing from the potential set, Bourguignon had to look for replacements overnight.

The Luxembourger Jeanne Werner plays the leading role in "Cru".

The cinematographic work by Ramon Königshausen, the cut by Elias Jutzet and the sound design by Gina Keller were also highly praised by the producer. Meanwhile, Antonia Durisch had to jump in whenever there were other requirements: "I always wanted the actors, crew and extras to feel comfortable." This in itself is an art, because there was a total of around 180 people for "Cru".

In the meantime, Antonia Durisch and David Oesch already have plans for their next joint project. Location? In the beautiful Canton of Zug. Durisch says: "The next project is my life's dream, so to speak. A series for the people of Zug, that will bring people closer to some local treasures." They are looking for sponsors at the moment, and, with "Cru" they have made the best advertising for themselves.

The film will soon be shown on Youtube
The film "Cru" is part of a historical moment in the film scene, the 20 most prestigious film festivals are joining forces with all sorts of top productions. On the video platform Youtube for a virtual festival over Whit. From Cannes, the prestigious Tribeca Festival founded by Robert de Niro and the  Sundance Film Festival, to the Berlinale– everyone is there. And "Cru" is right in the middle of it.

Facebook message from Zuger Filmtage
WOW! What a journey from CRUE! The winner of the Genuss Treatment Award 2017 won the "Student Visinary Award" at @[1635867443314591:274:Tribeca Film Festival] and is now traveling around the world.