×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Those Who Work,’ ‘Chris the Swiss’ Top 2019 Swiss Film Awards

Two debut features in writer-director Antoine Russbach’s “Those Who Work” and Anja Kofmel’s animated documentary “Chris the Swiss,” were the big winners at Friday night’s Swiss Film Awards, notching three plaudits each.

Sold by Be For Films, “Those Who Work,” stars Belgian actor Olivier Gourmet, who has appeared in every single film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne since 1996’s “La Promesse,” to winning a Cannes best actor award for 2002’s “The Son.” In Russbach’s film Gourmet plays Frank, a 50-something fixer for a company which rents out cargo ships. On a busy day, to prevent a ship being put into quarantine, he rashly orders a stowaway be thrown overboard to certain death. The decision gets him fired, not for moral reasons, but in the hopes of avoiding a media scandal.

The film scooped the awards for best fiction feature, best screenplay and best performance in a supporting role, which went to Pauline Schneider, a relative newcomer herself.

“Chris the Swiss” is the real-life story of Christian Würtenberg, a Swiss journalist murdered under strange circumstances during the Balkan War. The film follows Würtenberg’s then 10-year-old cousin – Kofmel herself – and her efforts to find out what happened to him. The animated parts of the film suggest what Würtenberg might have gone through in the last weeks and days of his life, while the live action segments chronicle Kofmel’s investigation, including interviews with mercenaries, journalists, and Würtenberg’s relatives.

The documentary is an Urban Distribution presentation of a Dchoint Ventschr Filmproduktion, Nukleus Film, Ma.Ja.De. and IV Films co-production, with international sales handled by Urban Distribution, Paris. Previously selected for Cannes Crotics’ Week, and nominated at the European Animation Awards, on Friday it won Swiss Film Awards for best documentary, best score and best editing.

Having screened at festivals such as Venice, Toronto, Sundance and IDFA and scooping a special jury prize at SXSW, Corina Schwingruber Ilić’s documentary “All Inclusive” was selected as the best Swiss short film of the year. It highlights scenes on a cruise ship suggesting the commoditization of holiday pleasure and the massification of cruise life and entertainment.

At Venice, Variety announced that she and her husband Nikola Ilic were preparing “Dida,” a documentary five years in the making, which approaches themes of immigration, learning disabilities and globalization drawn from Nikola’s own experiences.

Judith Hofmann and Joel Basman won best actress and actor respectively, Hofmann for her work in Simon Jaquemet’s San Sebastian and Toronto competition player “The Innocent,” and Basman – a former Berlin EFP Shooting Star winner – for his role in Michael Steiner’s “Wolkenbruch.”

Swiss Film Awards 2019

BEST FICTION FILM

“Those Who Work,” (Antoine Russbach)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM

“Chris the Swiss,” (Anja Kofmel)

BEST SHORT FILM

“All Inclusive,” (Corina Schwingruber Ilić)

BEST ANIMATION FILM

“Selfies,“ by Claudius Gentinetta, Gentinettafilm

BEST SCREENPLAY

“Those Who Work,” (Antoine Russbach)

BEST ACTRESS

Judith Hofmann, (“The Innocent”)

BEST ACTOR

Joel Basman, (“Wolkenbruch”)

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Pauline Schneider, (“Those Who Work”)

BEST FILM SCORE

Marcel Vaid (“Chris the Swiss”)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Peter Indergand, (“Eldorado”)

BEST FILM EDITING

Stefan Kälin (“Chris the Swiss”)

BEST GRADUATION FILM

“Black Hours,” (Wendy Pillonel)

HONORARY AWARD

Beki Probst, Cinema Expert and Cultural Mediator

SPECIAL ACADEMY AWARD

Monika Schmid, costume designer, and Su Erdt, production designer, for their historical design in “Zwingli”

More Film

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    Steve Golin, Prolific Producer and Founder of Anonymous Content, Dies at 64

    Steve Golin, an Oscar-winning producer who was founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, has died of cancer. He was 64. Golin was a pioneer in blending the business of talent management with production. Anonymous Content, which Golin founded in 1999, worked with a stable of big name artists such as Steven Soderbergh, Emma Stone, Edgar [...]

  • David Leitch

    'Hobbs and Shaw' Director David Leitch Signs First-Look Deal With Universal Pictures (EXCLUSIVE)

    Universal Pictures is signing David Leitch, his longtime producing partner, Kelly McCormick and their recently founded 87North Production banner to a first-look production deal. “David and Kelly have established themselves as a distinctive, stylish filmmaking team who can do it all, from contained thrillers to franchise tentpoles,” said Universal’s president Peter Cramer. “We are confident [...]

  • Still from cannes competition film "Parasite"

    Cannes: Bong Joon-ho Says ‘Parasite’ Is too Local to Win Competition

    Having been partially responsible for the Netflix fall out with the Cannes Film Festival, “Okja” and “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho returns to Cannes competition this year with conventionally- financed “Parasite.” But the Korean-language film is a tragicomedy that Bong says may be too nuanced for the festival. “Cannes always makes me feel excited, fresh, and [...]

  • Summer Box Office: 'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Lion

    Summer Box Office: Five Weekends to Watch

    Popcorn season is upon us, and it’ll be up to comic-book heroes, a wise-cracking genie, and a lion who would be king to ensure movie theaters are still the hottest place to spend the summer. Last summer, blockbusters like “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” Ocean’s 8,” and “The Meg” drove moviegoers to their [...]

  • Critics Week

    Cannes Critics’ Week Unveils Its Lineup

    Lorcan Finnegan’s science-fiction thriller “Vivarium” with Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots, Jérémy Clapin’s fantasy-filled animated feature “I Lost My Body,” and Hlynur Pálmason’s Icelandic drama “A White, White Day” are among the 11 films set to compete at Critics’ Week, the section dedicated to first and second films that runs parallel with the Cannes Film [...]

  • China Box Office: 'Wonder Park' Fails

    China Box Office: 'Wonder Park' Fails to Impress While 'P Storm' Rages On

    Even on one of the quietest weekends of the year, new U.S. animated release “Wonder Park” failed to inspire Chinese audiences as much as Hong Kong and Indian movies already in their third weekend in theaters. Starring the voice talents of Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, and Ken Jeong, among many others, the film [...]

  • David Picker dead

    David Picker, Studio Chief Who Acquired James Bond Novels for UA, Dies at 87

    David Picker, who headed United Artists, Paramount and Columbia’s motion picture divisions and was known for forging relationships with groundbreaking filmmakers and material, died Saturday in New York. He was 87 and had been suffering from colon cancer. MGM tweeted, “We are saddened to hear that a member of the United Artists family has passed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content