A sponsor should have bought 25 screenings of the documentary film “Saudi Runaway” at the Houdini in order to secure funding for the filmmakers. But now the Zurich cinema is blowing into retreat. And the film producer is mad.
Hans Juerg Zinsli
The matter seemed so curious that even long-time industry experts raised their eyebrows in surprise: Swiss director Susanne Meures and her producer Christian Frei withdrew their internationally successful documentary “Saudi Runaway” from a theatrical release – out of consideration for their main protagonist, who after their escape got cold feet in the west.
In order to still be able to enjoy Succès Festival credits amounting to an estimated 200,000 francs, Frei announced that the film would be shown in 25 screenings at the Houdini cinema in Zurich. However, without an audience, as an unknown patron would buy up all the seats. On the one hand, they wanted to protect the protagonist’s anonymity and, on the other hand, meet the requirements of the Federal Office of Culture (BAK) (read here the backgrounds).
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