TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


The Jungle

Matthias Huser, Michela Pini, Simon Jaquemet



Sheila returns to the place of her childhood in the jungle together with her husband Thomas after many years, following an invitation of Sheila’s father Balthazar, who lives a withdrawn life as a self- proclaimed protector and defender of nature on the remote family property.

Marked by illness, Balthazar tries to persuade Sheila to take over the property after his death to continue the sisyphic duty of defending the land. Yet Sheila and Thomas, who live a settled life in Switzerland, have already decided not to stay in the jungle.

Entangled in between Thomas and her father, Sheila falls back into child-like patterns. The encounter becomes a disturbing journey and the past begins to overlap the present. After Thomas disappears in the jungle, Sheila transforms into the 8-year-old girl she once was.

When Balthazar’s life depends on Sheila, she lets herself be carried away into another reality of the jungle and follows a group of local teenagers who built a skateboard halfpipe in the middle of the thicket. Only as a child, her liberation becomes imaginable.


My father grew up on an isolated farm as one of twelve children of Catholic parents. He has visions about how things should be and what the world should look like. Once, I asked him why he called his departure from the farm an “escape”. He said: “I want to create my own paradise”. The mixture of bitterness and hope in his words shifted my perception towards my father forever.

My story begins with Sheila‘s return to the jungle – into old family patterns and the oppression of a dominant father, who in his good intentions to protect nature and defend his property exercises violence against his family and the local population. This well- meant intention, which also contains the ill-meant, interests me in its ambivalence and is familiar to me.

The Jungle is driven by the question of how far a person would go to make the world the way he or she wants it – and how to liberate and emancipate oneself from the embrace of a person who obsessively pursues a vocation. I explore these questions through my main character’s feverish journey in pursuit of deliverance.


Sheila returns to the place of her childhood in the jungle to visit her father, a self-proclaimed defender of nature.
Matthias Huser

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Michela Pini


Simon Jaquemet

Scriptwriter, Film Director

production notes

original title
Der Dschungel

produced by8horses
Giesshübelstrasse 62i
8045, ZÜrich

current financial need
€ 2.500.000