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Short film, Switzerland, 2011, 25 min
Oliver Tobias as Director

Producers Roman Ramsauer, Zane Liechti & Kids in Motion

Premiere Zurich Film Festival, 1. Oktober 2011




The film tells the story of youths, who play in a band, dream their dreams and meet with reality. Sam, the central figure, has a difficult family background, that gives him not much chance. Then, the possibility for a first gig arises.

What do you think about the film? - 3 opinions

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hear the song, watch the "Making of" Dreams (2011)

Sarah, 16 years

Dreams is a film about the wishes and dreams of youths. In my opinion a very moving and most of all realistic film. Its realism was mainly expressed through non-professional, but talented actors and even singers and musicians. Unfortunately the music wasn’t to my taste, but as it's known, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

Also the story, characters and their wishes were portrayed extremely realistic and believable. The only small negative bit I noticed is that at the beginning of the film you had to wait long for something to happen. But even this “taint” looks in hindsight to be very well thought out and creates a good frame for the plot. The scene that was for me the most impressive and moving one is when the drug addicted brother is sinking down in front of the gates of the villa, after he realizes that due to the mistakes he made he can’t celebrate with the others but has to stay outside.

All in all, Dreams is an extremely well done film, which encouraged me to think about it and also to dream. It impresses mainly, because this whole story could have happened in every clique, in every school and in every town. This film is recommended to everyone, even as I was impressed by it only afterwards. I hope you now got an insight into my opinion about Dreams.

  Renate, 52 years

A 25-minutes short film with a small budget and a huge impact. The everyday violence comes by incidentally. A passerby is beaten up and nobody cares. The young malefactor spends his life in front of a TV set with his father, both with a bottle of beer in their hands, or with his friends out on the streets where booze is their best friend. So it seems, that his little brother Sam (Harrison Howell) has no chance to escape this life. Their mother is overwhelmed by the situation, and looking herself for support, she is no help. Just the opposite – for her, the fact that Sam and his friends have founded a band, is more likely a threat. The only one of the family who supports Sam is his big sister, who is successful in her work, has a nice boyfriend and wants Sam and his band to play at the Silver Wedding of acquaintances of her.

Will a dream come true for Sam and his friends? What are their dreams? They meet on the shores of the Zürichsee on a small gravel island. There they are amongst themselves and here they can talk. “I want …” “I dream of …” “This is what I would like to become …”. The camera revolves around them, and in short sequences their dreams are visualized. That they are not what we grown-ups think them to be surprises at first, and then not.

What do grown-ups actually know about the life of children? What do parents know? What do they want to know? The film distinguishes subtly the different worlds in which these people live and what happens when they collide: Sam’s marveling about the well-to-do people who will celebrate their Silver Wedding. The indifference of his father and older brother. And then his mother: The moment she learns about the first gig of his band, she calls it off. “The school … your home works … it is not possible …”.

  Doesn’t that sound awfully familiar? “No way … you won’t make it … wait till the seriousness of life calls you… What do you want anyway? …” Yes, what indeed? How many dreams were destroyed forever by such words?

It's just as well that there is still his big sister, who tells their mother some uncomfortable truths. The band will play, and a big dream will come true. How will it go on? Future will tell. Melanie (Tiziana Vassalli) sings „Auf meiner Bühne bin ich Rockstar…“ (I’m a rock star on my own stage...). Well, that's it exactly.

The teenagers are the stars in this short film. Director Oliver Tobias takes his amateur actors seriously and trusts the strength of the story. For a long time he remains with the camera on the faces. The misery crawls in slowly, unobtrusive, incidental. In the last scene, which has haunted me for a long time, we see Sam’s brother Andy (Zane Liechti) who stands alone outside the closed gates of the villa, longingly looking inside. There are no more dreams left for him, although he is barely older than Sam. This is what happens when we deprive people of their dreams. I think, we all need dreams, also we grown-ups. And that is why Dreams is in my eyes also a film for grown-ups.

The lyrics of „Auf meiner Bühne bin ich Rockstar…“ (I’m a rock star on my own stage...) were written by Larissa Katinas, the music is from her father Benedikt Freitag.


Oliver Tobias, Regisseur

Kuesnacht, empty streets at 11 am!

A boy walks home from school, alone.

He witnesses an act of arbitrary mindless violence perpetrated by his brother at a crossroad. Violence of a kind that has become the norm in our time. His brother, a druggy, who needs help! speaks to him.

He does not answer, he does not even help the victim who is injured on the sidewalk. Maybe he is bullied, maybe he has difficulties communicating? Maybe he is depressed because he comes from a totally dysfunctional family, as the film shows.

Fact: Kids these days are damaged by the extreme violent virtual reality computer games they play, leaving them with difficulties to distinguish what's real and what isn't.

A problem of our time.

Surreal, symbolic: Why is the girl in the car being driven home?

She lives in a beautiful land, her mindless driver is speeding through it. She would like to enjoy her dream of being a pop star, go slow, enjoy the environment, modern life clouds her dream.

The kids in the band feel safe with each other, away from the grown-ups, they express themselves with their music, they talk, share their dreams and aspirations.


on the Zürichsee during filming, June 2011

The song itself, written by a young artist, says exactly where it's at. The girl is singing the song hauntingly well, expresses the mood, feeling of her and her friends sentiments of what it's like to live as a kid in our time.

The boy manages to overcome his self doubts, gets the band a gig. He makes it.

By chance he meets a dream girl.

His problematic brother who really needs help and has been asking for it throughout the film is completely ignored, even by his sister, left outside.

The original story (script) was conceived and written by kids who live in considerable Wohlstand ("prosperity").

"Nur wer im Wohlstand lebt, lebt angenehm" - Bert Brecht. ("Only the one who lives in prosperity lives pleasant" - Bert Brecht) That may have been true of the great depression in the 1930's.


However Wohlstand alone has not answers to their problems these days, as Switzerland well knows. This film is a reflection of our time.

What's so great about this film is that it was made in spite of the calculated risk entailed in making a film with non-professional performers, writers etc., in the main, absolute beginners, who have had no experience of film making whatsoever!

My brief was to make the film with the people that were cast and in essence the script I was given.

To my mind the result more than covers all the bases and I am grateful that it has turned out that way!

at the Premiere, 1. Oktober 2011, Zurich Film Festival



Oliver Tobias announces the Film Dreams ...


more pictures in the Club - upload 07. November 2011 / rg