AND TOMORROW WE WILL BE DEAD by Michael Steiner opens the 17th Zurich Film Festival

24. August 2021

Michael Steiner's hostage drama has been one of the most eagerly and long-awaited Swiss films: now AND TOMORROW WE WILL BE DEAD (UND MORGEN SEID IHR TOT) opens the 17th Zurich Film Festival. On September 23, the world premiere of the film about two Swiss Taliban hostages will take place in the presence of Swiss Federal President Guy Parmelin and the Mayor of Zurich Corine Mauch. It will be the first screening in the freshly renovated Convention Center, ZFF's newest venue with more than 1200 seats.

Sven Schelker and Morgane Ferru (front) in Michael Steiner's latest hostage drama © Buena Vista International

Michael Steiner is back: After SENNENTUNTSCHI and THE AWAKENING OF MOTTI WOLKENBRUCH, the acclaimed Swiss director returns to the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) with his most recent work, the hostage drama AND TOMORROW WE WILL BE DEAD. With this opening film, the ZFF underscores its commitment to Swiss filmmaking. The movie could not be more topical: while the Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan, Steiner reminds us of the incredible story of Daniela Widmer (Morgane Ferru) and David Och (Sven Schelker), the Swiss couple kidnapped and handed over to the holy warriors in 2011 while traveling in Pakistan. The story kept Switzerland on tenterhooks. For eight months, the two held out as hostages until they managed a spectacular escape.

"Michael Steiner understands auteur cinema with great audience appeal like no other Swiss director," says Artistic Director Christian Jungen. "His new movie, his strongest to date, demonstrates international stature. The film reminds me of Kathryn Bigelow's thriller ZERO DARK THIRTY about the hunt for Osama bin Laden."

"It's a great honor to be the first director to open the ZFF for the second time," says Steiner, whose horror story SENNENTUNTSCHI was the festival's opening film in 2010. Steiner has realized a completely different horror story this time: shot in India, Spain and Switzerland, the film tells the dramatic story from the perspective of the Taliban's kidnap victims, Daniela Widmer and David Och, who wanted to fulfill their dream of travelling along the ancient Silk Road through Pakistan, but were kidnapped on the way, taken to war-torn Waziristan and handed over to the Taliban. Hardly anyone expected them to get out alive. Never before had civilians managed to escape from the clutches of the Taliban - but the two Swiss citizens managed the seemingly impossible.

Director Michael Steiner at the premiere of WOLKENBRUCH at ZFF in 2018 © Getty Images

"I'm a storyteller and here I wanted to give a personal insight into the fate of the two hostages Daniela Widmer and David Och, so that the audience understands the context," says Steiner.

Widmer and Och will be present at the world premiere at ZFF. The film is based on a personal report of their experience by the same name, published in 2013 by DuMont Buchverlag.

AND TOMORROW WE WILL BE DEAD (UND MORGEN SEID IHR TOT) - a Zodiac Pictures Ltd production in co-production with MMC Zodiac, SRF and Blue - was supported by the Federal Office of Culture, the Zurich Film Foundation, SRG SSR, the cantons of St.Gallen and Lucerne and Suissimage. Distributed by The Walt Disney Company (Switzerland), the film will open in Swiss cinemas on October 28, 2021. The world premiere will take place on Thursday, September 23, in the presence of cast and crew at the new Convention Center, as well as a slightly delayed public screening at the Corso cinema. Tickets can be purchased from September 13.

The complete program of the 17th Zurich Film Festival will be published on the website on Thursday, September 9, from 12 noon. In addition, it can be viewed on the official festival app Tribo, where it is also possible to compile a personal festival program. Ticket sales will start on Monday, September 13, from 12 noon.