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Uwe Schwarzwalder, "The Safe" screenwriter, director and actor




CR: Uwe, how you came to cinema?

As an actor, it started in my twenties, after I started modelling in my teens. I attended an acting school, but soon after I moved to Los Angeles where I could work almost every day on movie and TV sets. Then I found great teachers, Dianne and Lorrie Hull, where I deepened my studies, and later with Jack Waltzer. All worked with Lee Strasberg, Sandy Meisner, Stella Adler, and Elia Kazan. As a filmmaker, in a warm summer, I thought I’m going to write a feature and play in it, The Radicalization of Jeff Boyd. It was a bold step, lots of work, and I was honoured with many awards for it.


CR: What inspires you to come up with the idea (writing the screenplay)?

Locations, objects, and relationships inspire me the most and keep me going.


CR: "The Safe". After the film was released, would you change anything about it or leave it as it is?

It often happens that you think, you could have done it 5 minutes shorter, but I think The Safe has a nice pacing and wouldn’t touch it any more. (I went through the audios and couldn’t resist to clean it out a little, after watching it in a theatre where you hear everything. Not much, but I guess that’s the perfectionist in me :)


CR: "The Safe" is 102 minutes long. It's a very dynamic, attention-grabbing film. The acting is amazing and the technical parameters of the film cannot be overlooked: camera, light, music, post production - everything is at a very professional level. Can this film have a sequel?

Thank you very much. These compliments give you power to go on. I must say we had a great team - cast and crew - and you seriously make me thinking. Let’s see if I come up with a story this summer and get back to the team again.


CR: Are you a tyrant or a democrat on the set?

This is a great question, and I've always refrained to express my opinion about it. Guess why? Kazan said it’s a dictatorship, and it has reason. The vision is in the filmmakers head and he shouldn’t compromise I think - feelings, world views, emotions, motives are not always explicable, and the art within. Too many cooks… - you know. I always like to ask for feedback and sometimes I say, I didn’t think about that, but on the other hand, if not, it strengthens my idea as I have to think about it again and justify it. I think I have it both in me. There is just no time for discussions on set, hence you have to say “Let’s do it this way!"


CR: Interesting, curious cases were on the shooting set?

In a previous film, we had a special squad storming the set as an actor was walking with a gun on the balcony. Never happened again as I’ve been informing the police as of then. In The Safe, I have to give Kudos to the actors who jumped into the ice cold lake in the middle of the dark night. Shooting in a red light district in Zurich was also adventurous as we wanted a raw background for the scene.


CR: It's like a film within a film. There will be something to remember. What are your favorite films?

Deer Hunter, Falling Down, Fargo


CR: What film are you working on now?

The Spiritualization of Jeff Boyd has just entered the festival run and I wrote a Science Fiction story


CR: We wish a successful festival road for The Spirituality of Jeff Boyd and look forward to seeing your sci-fi film on the big screen.

This year, Switzerland became the country of honor at the Cannes Film Market. We look forward to seeing you and "The Safe" crew at our festival booth at the Cannes Film Market to celebrate your awards.

Uwe, thank you for the interview. See you in May in Cannes.


Uwe Schwarzwalder is an awards winning producer, director and actor who appeared in many film and TV productions in the US and Europe, various short films, and starred in the features "A Tangled Web”, and multi-award winning "The Radicalization of Jeff Boyd” which he also wrote, produced and directed.



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