Gabriel, a lonesome teenage-father, is struggling in a world, in which wild animals are suddenly on the run, where imagination turns into reality and life becomes existential

Writer & Director: Lorenz Merz

100min / Color 4:3 Digital 2K-4K(35mm) / CH-German (English/German/French ST)

Producer: Hesse Film, Simon Hesse 

Associate Producer: 8horses, Lorenz Merz

Co-Production: Milan Film / SRF Swiss Televison / Teleclub 

Fund raising: FOC Federal Office of Culture / ZFS Zurich Film Foundation 

CH-Distributer: Ascot Elite AG


IWC FILMMAKER AWARD 2018 - For the love of Cinema 


Gabriel, skater and teenage father, takes care alone of his son Jamie. In a delirious summer night Gabriel’s meets enigmatic Corey, the new girlfriend of his best friend Joel. They fall in love with the presence of an magnificent giraffe. Planets start to turn retrograde and in town a state of emergency is declared - wild animals have escaped from the zoo. Gabriel is torn between freedom and his responsibility as a father. When Joel finds out about the betrayal, he reveals insight about Gabriel’s tumultuous real life - There's not only a child, there's also Zoe, the unpredictable mother of his child. In the midst of exhilarating riots caused by the spreading creatures, Gabriel try’s to conquer Cory's perturbed heart. Indeed their connection is huge, bigger than themselves and his child no obstacle. But Jamie is taken in custody while Joel, deeply hurt, speeds up on his motorbike and causes a paradoxical accident.



It is mainly the harsh blows that stir up our superficial existence and reveal the core of our being. I witnessed the birth of my first son and the sudden death of my youth love when I was 18 years old. Paradoxically, I went through these events, with almost identical sensations. So, as if hot and cold water touches the skin at the same time and for a brief moment it‘s not clear, which feeling belongs to which event. Everything around me was more intense than the reality I previously knew. In both moments, an transcendent but raw perception of the world opened up. BEAST is not another coming-of-age but a contemporary coming-into-life film, dedicated to inevitable themes that concern us at all ages.



Lorenz Merz was born 1981 in Zurich from swiss-american parents. After formation in painting and photography he studied film at University of the Arts Zurich and Universidad del Cine Buenos Aires. His graduate piece Un dia y nada (2008) won international awards, including the Silver Leopard at the 61st Locarno IFF and the Swiss Film Prize (2009). His first feature film Cherry Pie (2013), presented at 66th Locarno IFF, Rotterdam IFF and others, won international awards including the Luna de Valencia at the Valencia IFF (2014). As cinematographer he received awards including the Swiss Film Prize for Summer Games (2011) and  War (2014). In 2013, he and fellow filmmakers founded the Zurich based production company 8horses. He was part of international jurys in Locarno IFF and NIFFF Neuchatel Fantastic IFF 2015. Lorenz Merz is member of EFA European Film Academy, SFA Swiss Film Academy and SCS Swiss Cinematographer’s Society. Father of two sons, lives in Zurich and Paris.


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Production Manager: Andrea Blaser 

Line Producer: Maya Sanchez Ruiz

1st Assistant Director: Joel Glatz 

Casting & 2nd Assistant Director: Rhea Plangg

Location Manager: Matz Müller 

Sound: Peter Becker

Cinematography: Fabian Kimoto & Lorenz Merz

Art Director: Nicole Hoesli

Gaffer: Peter Demmer 

Costume Design: Laura Locher 

Make up Artist: Tanja Maria Koller 

Sound: Peter Becker

Writer & Director: Lorenz Merz

Montage: Lorenz Merz & Noemi Preiswerk

VFX Supervisor: Giordano Canova   

Sounddesign/Mix: Maurizius Staerke-Drux

Music: TBA