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New film version of “Heidi” to be unveiled in Berlin

Johanna Spyri, the famous Swiss author, who created Heidi. (Keystone Archive)

A new motion picture version of "Heidi" is to première next month at the Berlin film festival, where it is entered in the competition for children's films.

Directed by Markus Imboden, the film was shot on location near Scuol in canton Graubünden and in Berlin. The title role is played by 12-year-old Cornelia Grösche. The French actress, Marianne Denicourt, is cast as the mother of Clara, Heidi’s friend in Berlin. An Italian, Paolo Villagio, plays the part of Alpöhl.

The film is being released on the 100th anniversary of the death Johanna Spyri, who created the classic story of Heidi’s childhood during the early 1880s, basing it on her own experience of growing up in the Swiss Alps.

Several film versions – including one starring Shirley Temple in 1937 – have been made of the story, which has been translated into many languages and published throughout the world.

Imboden’s film is an internationally financed co-production shot on a budget of SFr6.5 million ($4 million), and there are versions in English and French as well as German and Swiss-German.

Its Swiss première will be in March.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR