ENGLISH: Mad Heidi – The film they don't want you to see
Zurich: 24 September 2020: In a landmark victory for artistic freedom and plain common sense, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in Lucerne has ruled in favour of Gregory D. Widmer, a film script writer persecuted by the Zurich Police for his part in Mad Heidi, the world's first Swissploitation film. With 13 years of dedicated service with the Zurich Airport Police, Mr Widmer was sacked without notice in 2019 because his bosses ruled he could not work on the film, even in his free time. But the Supreme Court has now referred the case back to Zurich Administrative Court, which will decide on the level of compensation due to Mr Widmer. And it is the taxpayers who will foot the bill.
Don't just get even, get Mad
Dubbed by some as Mad Heidi vs The State, Zurich´s Administrative Court previously ruled that Widmer´s dismissal was "blatantly abusive", not "even remotely comprehensible”, and “so serious that simply stating that the dismissal was unlawful and awarding compensation is not enough to remedy this injustice." Despite the damning verdict, Zurich Police bosses continued to hound the scriptwriter and engaged lawyers at taxpayers´expense to lodge an appeal with the Swiss Supreme Court.
Mad Heidi producer Valentin Greutert said, “We and our many fans are of course delighted that the highest court in the land has ruled in favour of our long-suffering script writer. This really was a David v Goliath contest, and if those individuals, who obviously care nothing for the immense financial hardship and emotional distress they've caused a former employee, thought they would be vindicated and their reputations enhanced then I have news for them; you've done the exact opposite.”
So, what's all the fuss about?
Mad Heidi is an action-adventure-comedy-horror parody of the much-loved children's storybook character Heidi. Now all grown up, Heidi is just a girl from the Alps in an alternative Switzerland that has fallen under fascist rule. Little does she know that her yearning for personal freedom will be the spark that ignites a revolution. From fondue torture to death by chocolate, Mad Heidi is a true Swissploitation film. Think Kill Bill meets The Sound of Music. Mad Heidi is being produced by IRON SKY producer Tero Kaukomaa and Amateur Teens and Paradise War´s Valentin Greutert. It will be directed by the highly talented, up-and-coming Swiss director Johannes Hartmann.
In addition to being the world‘s first Swisspolitation movie, Mad Heidi is the first fully fan-financed film, with the chance for fans to participate and benefit from the financing and production of the film. Moreover, Mad Heidi is the most successful crowdfunded film project in Switzerland to date, having already raised CHF 260,000. More details about the highly innovative and disruptive funding and distribution model being used, as well as once in a lifetime opportunities for fans to actually be in the movie, visit the set, or get their names in the credits will be announced at the Zurich Film Festival on 29 September.
Notes to editors
- For media interviews with Gregory Widmer and the Mad Heidi team, or more information about the revolutionary Mad Invest funding program behind Mad heidi please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Previous Zurich Administrative Court verdict here (German)
- Media resources: download Mad Heidi film stills, behind the scenes pictures, teaser poster & the Mad Heidi logo at https://madheidi.com/pages/press
- You can view the Mad Heidi film teaser at https://youtu.be/npoAS3FhJGw
- Check out the latest news and views as well as Mad Heidi merchandise at https://madheidi.com/
The team behind Mad Heidi
Tero Kaukomaa (Producer)
In 1997, film producer and entrepreneur Tero Kaukomaa established Blind Spot Pictures. Since then he has produced, or co-produced, over 20 feature films including “Dancer in the Dark'' by Lars von Trier, Golden Globe nominee “Everlasting Moments'' by Jan Troel, and “Iron Sky''. In 2012, he released Timo Vuorensola´s “Iron Sky '', an € 8 million Finnish – German – Australian co-production. The film was heavily crowd-sourced and crowd-funded by a world-wide community of fans. In 2014, Tero founded Iron Sky Universe together with Timo Vuorensola to continue the Iron Sky Saga. In 2019, the €19 million sequel to Iron Sky, “Iron Sky The Coming Race” was launched. A $30 million Chinese film, “The Ark – an Iron Sky'', is currently in post-production. Also in 2019, Tero founded Swissploitation Films LLC with Valentin Greutert and Johannes Hartmann to produce and distribute Mad Heidi, the world's first Swissploitation film. In 2020, he founded Son of a Pitch Oy (Ltd) together with Timo Vuorensolato to offer their expertise in crowd engagement and pitching to other filmmakers. Tero believes in quality and the power of marketing, and he wants to use creative new ways to bring fresh content to the market. He is a member of ACE and the European Film Academy. He divides his time between Helsinki, Finland and Zürich, Switzerland.
Valentin Greutert (Producer)
Valentin Greutert started working in the film business in 2000 after graduating with a Masters in Economics and Business Administration. In 2004, he founded his first production company, HesseGreutert Film, in Zurich, Switzerland. Since 2015, he has headed his new outlet, A Film Company. Greutert has produced many feature films and documentaries, among them pearls like "Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae" and "Amateur Teens". In 2010, he produced “One Way Trip 3D”, which was one of the very first 3D genre films in Europe. Last year, his biggest production to date was released. “Paradise War”, based on a true story and represented by TrustNordisk, was shot on three continents with 76 days spent shooting, most of them deep in the jungles of Borneo. The film was a major success in Switzerland. Since 2008, Greutert has been a member of the international producer club ACE. He is also part of the European and Swiss Film Academies, as well as member of the documentary and fiction commission of the Federal Office of Culture in Berne. Building on his background in economics, Greutert also designed and now distributes KOSMA, a professional software to control film production finances (www.kosma.io).
Johannes Hartmann (Director)
Active as director and producer since 2007, Johannes Hartmann founded Decoy Films in 2009 together with two partners. Since then, he has been responsible for the realisation of many commercials, music videos and service productions. His debut short film "Halbschlaf" was selected by Switzerland’s leading genre film festival, the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, and numerous other international film festivals, and has won several awards. This was followed by other short films and docuamentaries, which were selected at film festivals worldwide. With his concept for Mad Heidi, the world's first Swissploitation film, Johannes Hartmann approached the producers Tero Kaukomaa and Valentin Greutert, with whom he founded Swissploitation Films in autumn 2019. Mad Heidi is Hartmann’s directorial debut as a director of a feature-length fiction film.