TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding



Cyril Schäublin, Michela Pini



A valley in Northwestern Switzerland, 1872. Josephine works in a watch factory where she produces the axis of unrest, a minute piece causing the swing in the center of the mechanical watch. Having difficulties to pay her communal taxes, she soon grows uneasy with the organisation of work and possession in the village and its factory, and joins the anarchist worker movement of the local watchmakers, the Fédération Jurassienne. There she meets Piotr Kropotkin, a moony Russian traveller.

Their encounter unfolds in a time when time measurement, photography and the telegraph are transforming the social order and anarchist narratives are competing with an emerging nationalism.

On a walk through the woods, Josephine and Piotr ask themselves: are not time, money and the government all but fictions?


Based on the historical events which made the Swiss watchmaking valley of Saint-Imier the political epicentre of the growing international anarchist movement in the 19th century, the film reconstructs a watch factory and its meticulous administration.

The language spoken in Unrest will remind us of constantly repeated mantras, orbiting around the organisation of time, work and possession in the beginnings of industrial capitalism. This language will strangely and amusingly remind us of our own communication in contemporary society.

Along with the two main protagonists Josephine and Piotr, the audience will be invited to reconsider the idea that “time is money”. Little by little, we will draw nearer to the central questions of the film: who tells us the story about ourselves? How is this narrative connected to the way we work and how we experience time? Could maybe everything look completely different?

budget, distribution & sales

Our total budget is € 2.000.000, with € 350.000 already secured. The financing plan is based on the support of the two main Swiss domestic film financing sources, the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the Zurich Film Foundation. We expect to rise € 1.600.000 in Switzerland, and we are now looking for European co-producers. The development phase of Unrest received the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA and the project won the Foundation Camargo Prize at FIDLab Marseille. A Swiss distributor, Filmcoopi, is already on board. Our film wishes to reach its international target audience by sparking a positive discussion, raising contemporary questions about the organisation of time, work and money, seen through the Swiss anarchist watchmaker movement of the 19th century. We are looking for an international sales partner to collaborate and to develop the potential of our project already from an early stage on. The film is planned to go into production in Summer 2020 and to be released in 2021.


As technology is transforming a 19th-century mountain community, two lovers meet in the anarchist watchmaker movement.
Cyril Schäublin

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Michela Pini


production notes

original title

directed by
Cyril Schäublin

produced bySeeland Filmproduktion GmbH
Fabrikstrasse 12
8005, Zurich

total production budget
€ 1'475'000