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The international group of filmmakers with Simon Helbling (director) and Brianna Ferguson (producer) telling the dark story of a farmer
99 backers pledged CHF 18,173 to help bring this project to life.

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The Weight Of The Land. Short film with Barbara Terpoorten project video thumbnail
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CHF 18,173

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We are an international group of filmmakers. We love what we do, are hardworking and need your support to tell a story worth telling.

With your donation and our passion for film-making, we will shoot a short film in Toggenburg, Switzerland, surrounding the farmer's struggles to make ends meet.

Wir sind eine internationale Gruppe von Filmemacherinnen und Filmemachern. Wir lieben was wir tun, arbeiten mit vollem Einsatz und brauchen Deinen Support um diese erzählenswerte Geschichte auf die Leinwand zu bringen.

Mit Deiner Unterstützung und unserer Passion für Film drehen wir unseren Kurzfilm im Toggenburg über eine Bäuerin und ihren Kampf ums Überleben.



The Weight of the Land follows the story of Marta (played by Barbara Terpoorten), a farmer who is struggling with the debts her father left behind. Just as she feels secure again, she is reunited with her brother, Richard, who requires her to bail him out. 

Marta is left questioning her livelihood and must decide if this is the life she wants to fight to keep.

The Weight of the Land explores themes of family relations, toxic masculinity and the heartbreaking truth about financial vulnerability.


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 “The Weight of The Land” erzählt die Geschichte von Marta, einer Bäuerin, die mit den geerbten Schulden ihres Vaters kämpft. Gerade als sie sich in Sicherheit glaubt, taucht ihr Bruder Richard auf, der auf Martas Unterstützung angewiesen ist.

Marta muss sich entscheiden, ob sie ein Leben lebt, für das es sich zu kämpfen lohnt.

“The Weight of The Land” erkundet Themen wie Familienbeziehungen, Toxic Masculinity und die traurige Wahrheit über finanzielle Notlagen.



We are inspired by Gregory Crewdson photographs. In some series the photographer elevates the most mundane situations into extraordinary visual moments. We are working for our film also with the strategy of elevating the mundane. 

 © Gregory Crewdson

The way Bruno Durmont shows nature in his film “Flanders” is very unpretentious and raw. The picturesque Swiss Toggenburg invites to capture idyllic pictures - but that’s not the story we are telling. We are showing the “unexpected” beauty.   

 © Bruno Durmont

Wir sind inspiriert von den Fotografien von Gregory Crewdson. In einigen Serien erhebt der Fotograf sehr alltägliche Situationen zu aussergewöhnlichen visuellen Höhen. Auch wir arbeiten in unserem Film mit der Idee, Alltägliches in eine andere Sphäre zu stilisieren.

Die Art und Weise wie Bruno Durmont in seinem Film “Flanders” die Natur porträtiert ist sehr unprätentiös und roh. Das pittoreske Toggenburg lädt dazu ein, in idyllischen Bildern festgehalten zu werden - aber das ist nicht die Geschichte die wir erzählen. Wir zeigen die “unerwartete” Schönheit.



Barbara Terpoorten plays the protagonist "Marta". She is well known to the Swiss audience for numerous movies and theatre shows, especially for her lead in "The Undertaker" (Der Bestatter), the hit series from Swiss TV SRF and Netflix. She won the Swiss Television Award for Best Female Lead. She works with her own theatre company "Sempione Productions", plays shows at renowned theatre houses in Switzerland and Germany, and gave exceptionally strong performances in several features.

Barabara Terpoorten spielt die Protagonistin "Marta". Dem Schweizer Publikum ist sie bestens bekannt aus etlichen Filmen und Theatern, besonders durch die Hauptrolle in "Der Bestatter", der Hit-Serie von SRF und Netflix. Sie gewann den Schweizer Fernsehpreis für Beste Weibliche Hauptrolle. Sie arbeitet mit ihrer eigenen Theatergruppe "Sempione Productions", spielt an bekannten Schauspielhäusern in der Schweiz und Deutschland, und gab ausserordentlich starke Darstellungen in etlichen Spielfilmen.


Our director is Simon Helbling. He started working as director in theatre and shot his first short ten years ago. Since then he has made several shorts, music videos and commercials. In 2017 he commenced his studies at the London Film School and will graduate MA in filmmaking with THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND. Putting his creative heart into a story means it will be honest, emotional and somewhat quirky.

Unser Regisseur ist Simon Helbling. Er begann seine Regiekarriere im Theater und drehte seinen ersten Kurzfilm vor rund zehn Jahren. Seither machte er diverse Kurzfilme, Musikvideos und Werbefilme. 2017 begann er sein Studium an der London Film School und schliesst seinen Master in Filmmaking mit THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND ab. Wenn Simon Helbling sein kreatives Herz in eine Geschichte steckt bedeutet das, dass es ehrlich, emotional und etwas schräg wird.


Brianna Ferguson is producing our film. The wonder kid with her creative organisational mastermind from Australia has already produced fifteen shorts. She produced her first film at the age of sixteen, which was awarded at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. She completed her BA Communications in Film and Television at Bond University and Hawaii Pacific University. She is currently funding her own production company and THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND is her graduation film from London Film School.

Brianna Ferguson produziert unseren Film. Das australische Wunderkind mit dem kreativen und organisatorischen Mastermind hat bereits fünfzehn Kurzfilme produziert. Sie produzierte ihren ersten Film im Alter von 16 Jahren und wurde dafür am National Film Festival for Talented Youth ausgezeichnet. Sie machte ihren Bachelor in Communications in Film and Television an der Bond University und Hawaii Pacific University. Aktuell gründet sie ihre eigene Produktionsfirma. THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND ist ihr Abschlussfilm von der London Film School.


Ben writes the script to our story. The published writer studied his craft under Martin Amis and is completing an MA in screenwriting at the London Film School. With THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND the Brit returns to the region he once was working as a teacher. 

Ben schreibt das Drehbuch zu unserer Geschichte. Der publizierte Autor studierte sein Handwerk bei Martin Amis und schloss seinen Master in Screenwriting an der London Film School ab. Mit THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND kehrt der Brite in die Region zurück, in der er einst als Lehrer arbeitete.


Hamid is the Cinematographer for WEIGHT OF THE LAND. His talent for visual storytelling is the perfect match for the Swiss alps. The Cannes awarded Iranian cinematographer grew up on a farm and knows well how to capture it. His short “In The Hills” won deuxieme at the cinefondation in Cannes, was invited to TIFF Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance and won best film at the Atlanta Film Festival. In 2015 he was selected for the Berlinale Talent Programme for cinematographers. He studied at the London Film School and before that was taught by Mahnoud Kalari and Abbas Kiarostami.

Hamid ist der Kameramann für THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND. Sein Talent für die Erschaffung visueller Erlebnisse passt perfekt zu den Schweizer Bergen. Der in Cannes ausgezeichnete iranische Cinematographer wuchs selbst auf einem Bauernhof auf und weiss genau, wie ein solcher filmisch eingefangen wird. Sein Kurzfilm “In The Hills” gewann Deuxieme an der Cinefondation in Cannes, wurde an das TIFF Toronto International Film Festival und Sundance eingeladen und mit Bestem Film am Atlanta Film Festival ausgezeichnet. 2015 wurde er für das Berlinale Talent Programm für Kameraleute ausgewählt. Er studierte an der London Film School, an der er heute unterrichtet, und lehrte davor bei Mahnoud Kalari und Abbas Kiarostami.


Andrea Grimm works as a Production Designer for commercials with customers like DPD, made shorts with Yogi Parish  and created unique worlds for events. She has a broad artistic background in singing, graphic design and scenic arts. The Swiss creative has worked in various roles, from Art Director, Location Scout, Production Assistant, Producer and Costume Designer. She and Yan make the dark atmosphere for THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND.

Andrea Grimm arbeitet als Production Designer für Werbungen mit Kunden wie DPD, machte Kurzfilme mit Yogi Parish und erschafft einzigartige Welten für Events. Sie hat einen breiten künstlerischen Hintergrund in Musik, Grafik und szenischen Künsten. Die Schweizer Kreative arbeitete in verschiedenen Rollen, von Art Director über Location Scout, Production Assistant, Produzent bis Kostümdesignerin. Sie und Yan erschaffen die dunkle Atmosphäre für THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND.


Yan Zhang works as Production Designer and director in London. She has been invited two times to the short film corner in Cannes, the WorldFest Houston and Asian American International Filmfest. She studied directing in Beijing at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and will complete an MA filmmaking at the London Film School. With her distinct flair to construct unique worlds for her characters, she and Andrea will fabricate the dark world of THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND.

Yan Zhang arbeitet als Production Designerin und Regisseurin in London. Sie wurde bereits zweimal zum Shortfilm Corner in Cannes eingeladen, an das World Fest Houston und Asian American International Filmfest. Sie studierte Filmregie in Beijing an der Central Academy of Fine Arts und absolviert ihren Master in Filmmaking an der London Film School. Sie hat ein ausgezeichetes Flair für die Erschaffung einzigartiger Welten. Sie wird mit Andrea die dunkle Stimmung von THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND kreieren. 


Shannon forges our film in the editroom. She learned her craft of creating strong stories with documentaries. She completed her BA in Film and Anthropology at Bennington College. The American storyteller already edited shorts in Italian, Mandarin and Finnish in her feature documentary “Kaustinen: The Life of Finnish Folk Music.” She now takes on Swiss German with THE WEIGHT OF THE LAND where she will complete her MA filmmaking at the London Film School.

Shannon schweisst unseren Film im Schnittraum zusammen. Sie lernte ihr Handwerk mit Dokumentarfilmen. Ihren Bacherlor in Film und Antrophologie machte sie am Bennington College. Die Amerikanische Geschichtenerzählerin schnitt bereits Filme in Italienisch, Mandarin und Finnisch für ihren abendfüllenden Dokumentarfilm “Kaustinen: The Life of Finnish Folk Music”. Für ihren Abschlussfilm des Masterstudiums an der London Film School packt sie jetzt auch noch Schweizerdeutsch an.


The Composer, Jan Willem de With, studied composition at the ZHdK Zurich and Royal College of Music London. His music has played in Cannes, Amsterdam, Aubagne and many more festivals. He has worked with orchestras like “The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra”, “Zurich Vocalists”, “21st Century Choir Lucerne” and “State orchestra Halle”. 

Der Komponist Jan Willem de With studierte Komposition an der ZHdK Zürich und dem Royal College of Music in London. Seine Musik spielt in Cannes, Amsterdam, Aubagne und etlichen weiteren Festivals. Er arbeitete mit Orchestern wie dem “The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra”, “Zürcher Vokalisten”, “21st Century Choir Lucerne” und “Staatsorchester Halle”.


The Costume Designer Carola will design what our characters are about to wear on screen. With her broad background in textile manufacturing techniques and her well trained eye for colours and materials, she will help the actors to explore their roles. The Swiss textile and costume designer worked for theatre, shorts, music videos and fashion labels. 

Die Kostümbilderin Carola gestaltet, was unsere Figuren auf der Leinwand tragen werden. Mit ihrer Erfahrung in verschiedenen Herstellungstechniken von Textilien und ihrem kritischen Auge für Farben und Materialien wird sie den Schauspielerinnen und Schauspielern helfen, in ihre Rollen zu schlüpfen. Die Schweizer Textildesignerin und Kostümbilderin arbeitete für Theater, Kurzfilme, Musikvideos und Modelabels.


Franco Volpi works as Sound Recordist and Director in London. His short “Sol de Agosto” was shortlisted for the Oscars 2018 and finalist in the Student Film Academy Awards, BAFTA Student Film Awards and competed in countless festivals like Palm Springs International ShortFest, Sao Paulo International Short Film Fest and Rhode Island International Film Fest. He studied at the London Film School and Ciudad de la Luz Film School and speaks fluent German.

Franco Volpi arbeitet als Sound Recordist und Regisseur in London. Sein Film «Sol de Agosto» war shortlisted für die Oscars 2018 und Finalist der Student Film Academy Awards, BAFTA Student Film Awards und nahm an etlichen weiteren Festivals teil - wie dem Palm Springs International ShortFest, Sao Paulo International Short Film Fest und Rhode Island International Film Fest. Er studierte an der London Film School und Ciudad de la Luz Film School. Er spricht fliessend Deutsch.



So where exactly is your support going?

Sheep Sheep Sheep!!!!

Yes, we have sheep and they require transportation, feed and handlers. We also have a dog on set for the majority of the film who requires just as much love and attention. 

Along with some amazing awards, the money raised will go directly into supporting our film.

Our biggest costs will be the hiring of equipment and props, feeding our team and transporting them. Filmmaking is by nature an expensive art. While we have a crew of smart indie filmmakers, there are some heavy costs we can’t get around.

For instance: Some scenes are shot in a car that requires special equipment in order to do it right, safe and cinematically interesting. 

We will use all local suppliers in Switzerland in order to reduce our carbon footprint and spend the money where our story takes place.

With your support we will be able to make an honest film and do the story justice.


Und was passiert mit Deiner Unterstützung?

Schafe, Schafe, Schafe!!!

Ja, wir haben Schafe im Film und die brauchen Transport, Futter und Hirtin. Ebenso haben wir die meiste Zeit einen Hund mit uns, der ebenso viel Liebe und Aufmerksamkeit braucht.

Neben einigen grossartigen “Dankeschöns” geht das Geld restlos in unseren Film.

Der grösste Posten ist die Miete von Equipment und Requisiten, Kost und Logis für die Crew. Filmemachen ist von Natur aus eine “teure” Kunst. Wir haben eine Crew von klugen Indie Filmemacherinnen und Filmemachern, dennoch gibt es einige grosse Ausgaben, um die wir nicht herumkommen. 

Wir setzen auf lokale Lieferantinnen und Lieferanten, um unseren ökologischen Fussabdruck zu reduzieren und das Geld dort auszugeben, wo unsere Geschichte spielt.

Einige Szenen beispielsweise finden in einem Auto statt und dafür benötigen wir spezielles Equipment um es richtig, sicher und filmisch interessant zu drehen.

Mit Deiner Unterstützung werden wir in der Lage sein, einen ehrlichen Film zu machen der der Geschichte gerecht wird.



So here is the struggle: Making a short film is the only way for us filmmakers to get into the business. It's the perfect way to train our skills and show the world what we got. Shorts end up in festivals, have their place and importance there, but therefore are very hard to finance. There is no money involved, no return of investment. Yet it's the only way for us to get "out there". That's why we need your support to tell this brilliant story.

We are experienced indie filmmakers. We are trained to adapt and manage with limitations. But having some extra budget means, we can make shots more cinematic, work with professional gear, spend time where it is needed for the story and not in quick solutions to get through the limited day.

Und das ist die Challenge: Einen Kurzfilm zu machen ist für uns Filmemacher*innen der einzige Weg ins Business. Es ist der perfekte Weg, um unser Können zu trainieren und der Welt zu zeigen, was wir drauf haben. Kurzfilme werden in Festivals gezeigt, haben dort ihren Platz und Wichtigkeit, aber deswegen sind sie auch schwierig zu finanzieren. Da ist kein Geld im Spiel, kein Return of Investment. Dennoch der einzige Weg für uns, um in die “Welt rauszugehen”. Deswegen brauchen wir Deine Unterstützung.

Wir sind erfahrene Indie Filmemacherinnen und Filmemacher. Wir sind ausgebildet darin, mit limitierten Ressourcen umzugehen. Aber etwas Zustupf im Budget zu haben bedeutet, dass wir unsere Bilder “filmischer” machen können, mit professionellem Equipment arbeiten, und die Zeit dort einsetzen, wo es der Geschichte gut tut, und nicht nur um rasche Lösungen zu finden um durch den Tag zu kommen. 

Risks and challenges

One of the challenges we face is that we do our pre- and post production in the UK and shoot in Switzerland. Thanks to our Swiss crew we have a network based already there to overcome this challenge.
Furthermore by having several scenes located outside, we are somewhat depending on the weather.

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    Pledge CHF 15 or more About US$ 15

    Baa baa sheep ‘Friends’

    Exclusive access to our ‘Friends’ instagram page during the duration of the project.

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    Jamming Farm Playlist

    A curated Spotify playlist by Simon Helbling (Director) and Brianna Ferguson (Producer) of all the songs that inspired the story and pre-production mid-meeting dance sessions.

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    We shoot it, you watch it!

    Get a DVD to the film we made with your donation! We sign it and let our sheep quality control it before we ship it to you.

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    Save the Forest Canvas Tote Bag

    Personalised tote bag with a print made by our costume designer.

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    Scenery Photograph

    ‘A Little More Altitude, A Little Less Attitude’: One of a kind mountable photograph taken by our behind the scenes photographer of the surrounding landscape of the film location. You choose between three pictures!

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    Be a part: Zurich Premiere!

    A Night Out in the Big City Zurich Premiere: Join the crew to the Zurich premiere. It will be exclusive, there will be drinks and food and a lot of probably unexpected anecdotes to hear.

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    Be a part and bring a friend!

    Adventure in the Big City Zurich Premiere +1: Join the crew to the Zurich premiere - and bring a friend! It will be exclusive, there will be drinks and food and a lot of probably unexpected anecdotes to hear.

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    Hand-painted artwork

    Yes, you heard right. You will actually get a unique, hand-painted artwork from our costume designer who happens also to be a talented painter. It’s inspired by our story and you will want to hang it up on your wall.

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    Lost in the Forest BTS Reportage

    A Behind the Scenes Reportage carefully curated for you by the crew during the shoot. You get an unique access to what happens in the background of this production.

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    Rained out Afternoon Session with HoD

    A one on one session with your choice of a Head of Departement to discuss anything related to the film, a new project of your own or quiz them with anything you may need help with on your next creative venture. (Subject to country and availability).

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    A Long Day on the Farm Set Visit

    Come and visit during the shoot on any chosen day. Have a private tour by the Producer who will introduce to the cast and crew. And: We will also make you an Executive Producer on the film!

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Funding period

- (30 days)