Shooting of the historical drama MONTE VERITÀ, directed by Stefan Jäger and set on Monte Verità (Ascona) in the early 1900s, was recently completed in Ticino. The large Swiss German-Austrian co-production, made up of a crew of more than 60 people, will continue shooting in Italy, Germany and Austria.
The film re-enacts the story of the famous naturalist community that inhabited the hill of Ascona in the early twentieth century and which was a privileged destination, and a passage to the south, of a group of free thinkers and artists who wanted to live in contact with nature and less artificially than the social conventions allowed at the time. In the region, with its southern atmosphere, they found fertile ground in which to nurture ideals of life that they had not been able to cultivate in the north. The utopia born in Southern Switzerland, on the Monte Verità, has had important repercussions on art and culture until the present day.
For his film, which deals with the theme of women's emancipation, Stefan Jäger wanted to rediscover and reconstructed the places of the Ascona community by shooting in Ticino for 3 weeks (between 24 August to 10 September), in the Maggia Valley (Aurigeno, Cevio, Cavergno and Val Bavona), Losone (Arcegno) and Ascona (Casa Anatta at Monte Verità and Delta della Maggia). In an interview for LaRegione, the director commented: "We are really thrilled about the welcome and the richness of nature of these places".
The film tells a story of women's emancipation in the social context of the early 1900s. The protagonist Hanna Leitner, a young mother (the only fictional character in the film in which we find real people such as Hermann Hesse, Dr. Otto Gross, Isadora Duncan and the founder of the community and pioneer of women's rights, Ida Hofmann), flees to Ascona to escape her bourgeois role and the oppression of her husband. Tormented by an emotional breakdown, in the community of Monte Verità, in the midst of an idyllic nature, Hanna discovers a passion for the art of photography, but above all she finds herself.
The cast is made up, among others, of actors Max Hubacher (in the role of Dr. Otto Gross) Joel Basman (as Hermann Hesse), Julia Jentsch (as Ida Hofmann), Hannah Herzsprung (as Lotte Hattemer) and Maresi Riegner (as Hanna Leiter).
The film is produced by tellfilm (Zurich) in co-production with RSI, Radiotelevisione svizzera, Coin Film (Germany), KGP (Austria) and MCC Movies Köln (Germany) and distributed by DCM Film Distribution. It is scheduled for release in the autumn of 2021.
Interesting facts about film making in Ticino
The shooting took place for the most part on a large meadow in the Ronchini di Aurigeno area (Vallemaggia), where the historic Central House of Monte Verità was reconstructed in great detail, as well as the other houses and outdoor spaces (vegetable gardens, bathrooms and showers, workplaces etc...) that made up the areas of the community. The famous Central House with its decorated windows and balconies, whose original building was demolished in 1948 and of which only the rounded flight of stairs remains today, was built in Cologne and then transported there for filming, as well as the characteristic and spartan wooden dwellings. In order to transport all the sets and filming material of the large production to the meadow where the tournage took place, it was necessary to shore up some of the small bridges on the route as a precaution.
The Ticino Film Commission and the production would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Municipalities and Institutions that have collaborated with the Ticino Film Commission to support the production. In particular, the Municipalities of Maggia, Losone and Ascona, the The Department of Territory, the Environment Division, the Regional Authority for the Development of Locarno and Vallemaggia, Ascona-Locarno Tourism and the Monte Verità Foundation, which have enabled us to host the production in the best possible way, responding quickly and completely to specific needs.
We also thank Katrin Renz (tellfilm, Zurich) and Sara Bühring (Central Productions, Lugano) for their availability and outstanding collaboration.
To find out more about the shooting of MONTE VERITA:
Variety, 'Blue My Mind' Producer Tellfilm to Roll on Woman's Emancipation Feature 'Monte Verità' (EXCLUSIVE)
SRF Kultur, “Max Hubacher & Joel Basman: Feuer und Flamme fürs Schweizer Kino”
(resources in Italian)
Action, "Monte Verità, the origins"
Corriere del Ticino, "The origins of Monte Verità come back to life in Vallemaggia"
Il Quotidiano, RSI, "On the set of Monte Verita"
LaRegione, "On the set of 'Monte Verità'? Off with the mask (and with everything else)"