Johanna Bantzer – Swiss Shooting Star 2005
at the 55th Berlin International Film Festival
In the feature film “Strähl” Johanna Bantzer plays the drug addict Carol (Director: Manuel Flurin Hendry; Producer: Dschoint Ventschr, Zurich). In the starring role of this movie, the actress is impressive with her intense and expressive performance: The 26-year-old was awarded the Max Ophuels Prize for “Best New Talent” in Saarbruecken, Germany, and she has been nominated for this year’s Swiss Film Prize, which will be bestowed in Solothurn on January 26, 2005. Bantzer, who manages to give her movie and theatrical characters a powerful presence playing anything from a Zurich junkie to a rural farm girl, is currently performing at the Basel Theatre where she will be part of the premiere of “King Placebo” (by Brigitte and Niklaus Helbling) on January 6th, 2005. In the 8th edition of the “Shooting Stars” at the Berlinale from February 11-13, 2005, this talented and highly praised newcomer will be representing Switzerland. The event draws much attention and provides a forum for young European up-and-coming actresses and actors. Also among them are Austrian actress Franziska Weisz and German actor Max Riemelt.Since 1998, the European Film Promotion (EFP), an umbrella organization of national film promotion agencies (with significant support from the MEDIA program by the European Union), has organized the unique Shooting Stars event to present Europe’s next generation of acting talents. Twenty-one hopefuls each from a different European country will stand in the limelight at Berlin’s Potsdam Square and introduce themselves to international film professionals at this year’s event. The talents have been nominated by their country’s membership organization of EFP (in Switzerland represented by SWISS FILMS) and will attend meetings with producers and casting agencies in Berlin. They will have a chance to introduce themselves to the media and will be awarded a “Shooting Star” at the Berlinale Palace by festival director Dieter Kosslick during a competition screening.
The new Swiss Shooting Star Johanna Bantzer has been a regular at the Basel Theatre since summer 2003, where she plays contemporary and classic roles. Currently, she is performing in five productions: Jeremia Gotthelf’s “Geld und Geist” (Money and Spirit), “King Placebo”, “Lola”, “Peter Pan,” and Guy Krneta’s “E summer lang, Irina” (One summer long, Irina). She also played Johanna DiCaprio in Dani Levy’s street play “Freie Sicht aufs Mittelmeer” (A clear view to the Mediterranean Sea), as the king’s daughter Cordelia in Shakespeare’s “King Lear” and as Annemarie Schwarzenbach in “Anne und Ella.” Johanna Bantzer grew up in Zurich and Hamburg and studied at the Zurich Theater Academy from 1999 to 2003 which initiated her double breakthrough both on the movie screen and in the theatre, and Bantzer received great recognition for her first movie performance with Swiss weekly newspaper “Die Weltwoche” calling her the “Swiss acting scene’s new talent.” The movie “Strähl”, which received several awards and screened at international festivals, will celebrate its premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, at the end of January (Jan 21-28, 2005). Most recently, Bantzer finished her work for the short film “Herr Goldstein” (Mr. Goldstein) with Micha Lewinsky (Production: Langfilm), which will be completed in the spring of 2005.
Recent actresses and actors representing Switzerland as Shooting Stars were Michael Koch (“Ready, Steady, Charlie!”) in 2004, Mona Fueter (“Füür oder Flamme”) in 2003, Michael Finger (“Utopia Blues”) in 2002, Anne-Schlomit Deonna (“Potlach”) in 2001, Martin Rapold (“Exklusiv”) in 2000, and Ticino-born Soraya Gomaa (“Full Moon”) in 1999. Johanna Bantzer will now have a chance as a talented Swiss actress to present herself to the public, the media, and international film industry in the context of “Europe’s New Acting Talent.”
Zurich, January 5, 2005
A photograph and a biography of Johanna Bantzer and screenshots from the movie “Strähl” can be downloaded at: http://www.swissfilms.ch/dost5_img.asp (Password: images)