Markus Imboden’s drama “Foster Boy” has become the most successful Swiss film in the past five years, so far garnering $3.6 million.
The company, which also has a German office in Hamburg, is developing “The Blue-Eyed Samurai,” the true story of kickboxing champion Andy Hug, who died of leukemia in 2000. It’s also got “The Devil in the Hills,” an adaptation of Cesare Pavese’s Italian novel about lost youth.
The company is also co-producing “Der Koch” (The Cook), an adaptation of Swiss author Martin Suter’s bestselling culinary novel, with Berlin-based Senator Entertainment, and “Simpel,” an adaptation of Marie-Aude Murail’s children’s book, with Studio Hamburg.
It’s also got the previously announced “Night Train to Lisbon,” from Bille August, a co-production with Studio Hamburg.
Max Hubacher stars in the 1950s-set pic about a boy who is taken from his parents and sent to work on a farm as a “Verdingbub,” or contract child.
It was practice that lasted from the early 1800s until the 1960s. “It’s good because the topic is now being talked about in public,” says Hubacher, who is currently being feted at the Berlinale as Switzerland’s Shooting Star.
“It was a taboo topic in Switzerland. But people are learning about it now, especially young people. It’s a very dark chapter in the country’s history because Switerzaland is normally seen in a very good light.”
C-Films producer Peter Reichenbach adds that the victims who suffered from the system, which deprived families of custody if they were poor or didn’t live according to middle-class social mores, including single or divorced parents, rarely if ever spoke about their ordeals. Many contract children experienced emotional, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of foster parents, who used such children as farmhands. “Those who suffered felt stigmatized and never spoke about it to their families.”
C-Film is presenting “The Foster Boy” to foreign distribs in Berlin.