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 (Locarno IFF / 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.


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

Young father Gabriel takes care alone of his son. 

When he falls in love with enigmatic Corey, a state of emergency is declared. 

Wild animals are on the run and life becomes utterly existential.

Written and directed by

Lorenz Merz 


Ella Rumpf  · Pablo Caprez  · Art Bllaca  · Luna Wedler  · Tonatiuh Radzi  · Lolita Chammah

Production Company: Hesse Film

Producer: Simon Hesse & Lorenz Merz 

Associate Producer: Venice77 & 8horses

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

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

Swiss Distributer: Ascot Elite AG

World Rights : Hesse Film