Switzerland’s fascination with the Wild West and country music is one of the next projects for Zurich-based FAMA Film, which has produced Anne Thommen’s Zurich title Neuland.
Documentary film-maker Adrian Winkler’s Köntry – the Swiss German way of pronouncing “country” - will explore the reasons why the myths of the American West and its way of life seem to fascinate all strata of Swiss society.
The longest country and western festival in the world – 38 days - is staged in the Zurich suburb of Albisgütli, and Europe’s biggest country and trucker festival is held in Interlaken each summer.
Each week also sees thousands of linedancers practising their moves and Western enthusiasts spending their weekends reliving the halycon days of the Wild West as cowboys, trappers or Native Americans.
Shooting is scheduled to begin from next spring and last until the end of 2014.
Neuland, which follows the progress of young immigrants over two years in their integrative class in Basle, received the First Steps Award for Best Documentary in Berlin earlier this month.
The film is playing at the Zurich Film Festival in the German-language Documentary Competition and is also nominated for the 2013 Berne Film Prize, which will be presented on Nov 13.