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Keeping Oscar dreams in focus

The 86th Academy Awards are taking place in Los Angeles on Sunday. Bernese film-maker Simon Steuri dreams of a breakthrough in Hollywood – and perhaps even an Oscar. Far from naive, he bases his career on good old hard work.

Foreign film-makers in Hollywood need incredible amounts of inner fire, self-confidence, desire and stamina. Steuri, who is almost 37, has all of these.

He was born in Emmental and worked as a radio presenter in Switzerland, where he also attended film school. He has now achieved the first step of his dream: living and working in LA.

Many of the films in the running for an Oscar this year fill him with encouragement. “‘Dallas Buyers Club’, shot on a mini-budget, with natural lighting and in only 23 days, makes my heart beat faster,” he says. “Hollywood is transforming. This is exactly how my generation learnt to work from directors. I sometimes feel like a kid in the greatest playground imaginable.”

Nevertheless, competition in LA is fierce. And unlike many talented film-makers, Steuri still has a relatively small list of contacts. “Every tree needs to establish roots – only then can it grow and blossom,” he philosophises.

But he hopes to realise his next big dream in the near future, even this year: his first feature film, ‘Made in Hollywood’.

Images: Adeline Wohlwend. Text: Renat Kuenzi,

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR