Survivalist drama Retreat Brings home The Golden Alexander Film Forward award at Thessaloniki International Film Festival

Buzz, Film

The team behind coming-of-age survivalist drama, Retreat (Réduit), are excited to announce the film has been awarded The Golden Alexander Film Forward award at the 2022 Thessaloniki International Film Festival.

Directed by Leon Schwitter, who made his feature-length directorial debut with the film, Retreat stars Peter Hottinger and Dorian Heiniger.

Upon giving the award the festival praised the film’s “precise work in cinematic storytelling, its narrative sound design and evocative camera work.” They also highlighted “the intellectual stimulation that it offers to the viewer and the precise comment on the world we are living in” as some of the reasons for their decision.

Retreat follows an estranged father and son as they take holiday in the mountains to get to know each other better. Sheltered by the rocky landscape, Michael believes that he and his son are safe from the outside world, which is crumbling under the impact of environmental destruction and economic crises.

Excited about the award Director Leon Schwitter said “I am extremely moved and honoured by this prize! ‘Réduit’ started as a small project with friends three years ago and it would not have been possible without any of them. Making a first-time feature comes with a lot of insecurities and I was not sure at all how the film will be received by an audience. On our festival tour, I was able to meet such a nice crowd of people who were interested in the film and could relate to its message which is really encouraging to me.

The topic our film deals with is not a very encouraging one, however, I did not make the film to only paint a dark picture of the world. I believe change is always possible and even in insecure times, we should never give up hope nor the effort for a better future. The connection I’ve felt with a lot of people from our audience shows me that the concerns from our generation are shared by many people all around the world.

I am so happy to dedicate this award to everyone who helped me make this film possible. I want to thank all the people from my cast & crew, our donors, the festival team and the jury for the incredible support. Also, I want to dedicate this prize to all those people who are fighting for change around the world. Making films is a privilege of only a few and can never replace direct political action and it’s those courageous people who are risking so much for values and ideals and our future who deserve our recognition the most.”