You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Locarno: Swiss Dominik Locher’s ‘Goliath’ Scooped Up by Wide Management (EXCLUSIVE)

Set in Switzerland, Locher’s Locarno Competition player questions contemporary models of masculinity

Driving into new talent, Loic Magneron’s Paris-based Wide Management has swooped on world sales rights to Dominik Locher’s “Goliath,” the only majority-Swiss film in main competition at this year’s Locarno, Switzerland’s biggest film festival.

Deal excludes Switzerland and is non-exclusive for Germany.

World premiering at Locarno, where Wide, a fixture at the Swiss Festival, will introduce the title to buyers, “Goliath” turns on David (Sven Schelker), a twentysomething who breaks out in panic when girlfriend Jessy (Jasna Fritzi Bauer) tells him that she’s pregnant.

When both are assaulted in a city train and David fails to protect Jessy, his fears of inadequacy as a man take hold, according to the film’s synopsis. Frantic, David inject steroids, work out at the gym, builds his body, self confidence but soon tendency to violence. For Jessy and the unborn child, he becomes a threat.

“After a physical shakedown my insecure protagonist struggles to find the balance between visceral and emotional strength,” Locher told Variety.

“It is also a reference to the growing influence of macho figures like Putin, Duterte or Trump on young men,” he added.

Co-written by Locher, who took a B.A. in theater at the Zurich University of Arts (ZHdK) and a M.A. in film directing at Los Angeles’ American Film Institute, “Goliath” is lead-produced by Dario Schoch and Rajko Jazbec, partners at Zurich-based CognitoFilms, and co-produced by ZHdK and Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, Switzerland’s national TV network.

“Goliath” marks Locher’s follow-up to debut “Tempo Girl: The Story of a Generation.” As in other high-profile Swiss films from younger filmmakers  – think 2015’s “Wonderland” or indeed Locher’s feature debut, “Tempo Girl – The Story of a Generation,” where a wannabe novelist sets out to discover “authentic” experience and finds an authentic Switzerland in a benighted Swiss valley – “Goliath” questions received international wisdom about Switzerland..

“Young Swiss filmmakers are questioning Swiss identity,” said producer Schoch.

In a country renown abroad for its pacifism and high living standards and democracy, rather like Nordic Noir, “Goliath” lifts the lid on a far darker, more shaded vision of humanity.

“Films like ‘Chrieg’ or ‘Goliath’ focus on characters and self-critical, honest storytelling, never ending the struggle between good and bad within ourselves,” Locher said about his Swiss filmmaker generation’s hallmarks. “Also, we no longer try to please everybody. Instead, we try to develop a strong artistic vision,” he added.

“For more than 10 years now, Wide has been engaged in the promotion of first and second-time film directors, reflecting contemporary society and young adults’ problems,” said Magneron at Wide, which also sold “Wonderland,” calling “Goliath” “a really promising film from a young European director.”

Praising its cinematography and artistic direction, he said it offered multiple marketing possibilities for distributors.

“We have been also hooked by its totally universal themes and issues that will certainly talk to all couples and young parents around the world,” he concluded.

The Swiss “look more to ourselves than across the borders and we’ve started to realize that this is at the core of a lot of problems,” said Schoch. Swiss cinema must reach out across borders in Europe, he added.

Co-starring German shooting star Bauer, star of Constantin’s Sundance hit “Axolotl Overkill,” and German actor José Barros, “Goliath” is one step is that direction. Another is German Kerstin Polte’s upcoming “Cloud Whispers,” produced by Germany’s Augenschein Filmproduktion but co-produced by CognitoFilms.

Schoch commented: “If you look at families we are such a mix and with every generation we mix even more. It’s time to make pan-European films, international film for international audiences.”

More Film

  • Charlotte Rampling Euphoria

    Berlin Film Festival: Charlotte Rampling to Receive Honorary Golden Bear

    Oscar-nominated actress Charlotte Rampling, whose career has spanned more than 100 film and television roles, will be honored with a special Golden Bear at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. The fest will also pay homage to Rampling by screening a selection of her work, including Sidney Lumet’s “Verdict” (1982), Francois Ozon’s “Swimming Pool” (2003) and [...]

  • The Sisters Brothers

    France's Lumieres Awards Unveil Nominations

    Jacques Audiard’s “The Sisters Brothers” is nominated for best film and director at the 24th Lumieres Awards, France’s equivalent to the Golden Globes. The Western drama starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal world premiered at Venice Film Festival, where it earned Audiard a best director award. Produced by Paris-based company Why Not, [...]

  • CAA to Represent Peter Chan's We

    CAA to Represent Peter Chan's We Pictures

    Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has signed with We Pictures, the production and distribution company founded by Hong Kong-born director and producer Peter Chan Ho-sun. It aims to boost the company’s footprint both in China and abroad. Within China, CAA China will help We Pictures to develop new business partnerships and find new sources of investment [...]

  • Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley to Receive

    'Carol' Producers Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley to Be Honored by BAFTA

    Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, the producers of such films as “Carol,” “Their Finest” and the recent “Colette” starring Keira Knightley, will receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the BAFTA Film Awards. The prolific pair run Number 9 Films and have a long list of credits. They will pick up their accolade at [...]


    Korea Box Office: 'Rhapsody' Reclaims Top Spot, Beats ‘Spider-Verse’

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” reclaimed top place at the South Korean box office, overtaking “Default,” after spending two weekends in second place. The Fox release earned $4.38 million from 554,000 admissions for a total of $61.0 million from 7.94 million admissions. In its seventh weekend of release “Rhapsody” accounted for 27% of the weekend box office. CJ [...]

  • China Box Office: ‘Totoro’ Triumphant as

    China Box Office: ‘Totoro’ Surprises as ‘Aquaman’ Defies Newcomers

    “Aquaman” comfortably dominated the Chinese box office for the second weekend. Although it dropped 47% in its second week, the latest Warner Bros.’ DC Comics title again accounted for the majority of all cinema business nationwide. The watery superhero movie earned $53.9 million, according to data from exhibition and distribution consultancy Artisan Gateway. It played [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Crosses $250 Million at Foreign Box Office

    Things are going swimmingly at the box office for “Aquaman” as the Warner Bros.’ superhero flick hits another major milestone overseas. James Wan’s take on the ruler of the seven seas just passed $250 million internationally, and a weekend haul of $126.4 million from 43 territories brings its foreign tally to $261.3 million. “Aquaman” — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content