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German Currents San Diego – Festival of German Film Presented by German American San Diego Foundation


SUNDAY, October 23, 2016 | 10:30 AM | Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA)


Switzerland (2015), 105 min. German with English Subtitles.



Joahanna Spyri’s classic children’s novels return to the screen for a new generation. When Aunt Dete (Schinz) sends young orphan Heidi (Steffen) to live with her gruff and solitary grandfather (Ganz) in the Swiss Alps, the two get off to a rough start. However, Heidi soon melts her grandfather’s heart and the two form a close bond. As Heidi grows to love her new Alpine home and her friend Peter (Agrippi) the goatherder, Aunt Dete returns to take Heidi away to Frankfurt to live as a companion to the wealthy, wheelchair-bound young girl, Klara (Ottmann). Though homesick and out-of-place, Heidi makes the best of her situation, soon inspiring those around her. Screenwriter Petra Volpe and Director Alain Gsponer offer a fresh take on Spyri’s spirited heroine, emphasizing the stark realities of Heidi’s situation. Gorgeous shots of the Swiss Alps are contrasted with authentic depictions of era, where despite such bleak circumstances, Heidi’s resilience and ingenuity shine ever brighter. This is a timeless story of knowing who you are and remaining true to yourself, no matter where you might be.


German Film Award 2016: Best Children’s Film
Bavarian Film Award 2016: Pierrot, Best Children’s Film


Director: Alain Gsponer
Screenplay: Petra Volpe
Cinematography: Matthias Fleischer
Cast: Anuk Steffen, Bruno Ganz, Quirin Agrippi, Isabelle Ottmann, Anna Schinz
Producers: Uli Putz, Jakob Claussen, Lukas Hobi, Reto Schaerli 
Production Company: Zodiac Pictures Ltd, Claussen+Putz Filmproduktion GmbH, Studiocanal GmbH, Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, Teleclub AG

US Distributor:
Film Movement

World Sales:


Alain Gsponer was born in 1976 in Zürich, Switzerland. From 1996 to 1997 he studied at the Schule für Gestaltung in Bern, and from 1997-2002 at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg. His films include KIKI & TIGER (2002), ROSE (2005), DAS WAHRE LEBEN (2006, winner of the 2009 Grimme Award), LILA LILA (2009) and DAS KLEINE GESPENST (2013).


Official Trailer

(Original German trailer version, Film will be screened with English subtitles at the festival)

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