×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Anja Kofmel on Critics’ Week’s ‘Chris The Swiss,’ Perception

The young Swiss helmer is also developing a second animation-live action hybrid

Some of the best creativity in Hollywood is to be found in its animation. The same may be said of Europe. Anja Kofmel, an alum of Lucerne’s School of Design and Art and Paris’ Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, adds to the growing cannon of Swiss animation with her feature film debut, “Chris the Swiss.”

The animation/live action hybrid has already gained industry and festival recognition: a four-way European co-production backing, led by Zurich-based Dschoint Ventschr; international distribution by Paris-based sales agent UDI; selection for Cannes Film Festival’s 2018 Critics’ Week.

Kofmel introduced scenes from “Chris the Swiss” at March’s Cartoon Movie, talking with passion about the feature, one of the most challenging at the co-production and sales forum. What came across was a poignant contradiction. “Chris the Swiss” tells the story of her cousin Christian Würtenberg, a Swiss journalist  who was murdered under strange circumstances during the Balkans War. It’s the story of Chris’ 15-year younger-cousin – Kofmel herself – and her attempt to find out what happened to him.

The animated parts chronicles the story of what Würtenberg might have gone through in the last weeks and days of his live, the live action her investigation.

CREDIT: Anja Kofmel

“What fascinates me are stories which explore the thin line between reality and fiction, experiment with the thin line between inner perception and outside reality,” Kofmel told Variety two years ago. One case to point, she suggested, is Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing,” which she particularly admires.

However meticulous the investigation, the real heart of the film remains the huge impact the death of Würtenberg, a hero to the teen Kofmel, had on her then and now, and her recognition in the use of animation that, despite the film’s documentary thrust, she can only surmise the circumstances of her cousin’s assassination. Some documentaries seek to explain the world, others emphasize the inexplicable, such as the murky horror of the Balkans War itself.

Kofmel’s emphasis on subjectivism can be seen in the use of near surreal symbolism. One example she gives: Her use of an image of a swarm of insects to suggest an army of soldiers attacking a village. Kofmel will turn to her them of perception and reality in a new hybrid film she’s developing, turning on a blind girl who is suddenly able to see – but not the same world as the people around her.

John Hopewell contributed to this article

More Film

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    Hollywood Agents Blast Writers Guild Over New Proposals

    The war between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents has escalated as the two sides battle over the rules on how writers are represented. The latest volley emerged Friday from Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents, who accused WGA leaders of misleading its members and asserted that the guild [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    Cesar Awards: Xavier Legrand’s ‘Custody’ Wins Best Film

    Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody,” a tense portrait of a family torn by domestic violence, won best film, actress (for Lea Drucker), and original screenplay at the 44th Cesar Awards, which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors. “Custody,” which marks Legrand’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content