Alumna Feature: Fariba Buchheim - Ready, Set, Action!

In 2013, Fariba Buchheim graduated from Institut Montana and began her journey in the film industry. Today, she runs the film company “NOZY Films” and is nationally and internationally recognized with her latest short documentary “SHAPES”(FORMEN).

14 April 2020

After completing her studies at Institut Montana, Fariba did a preparatory course in art where she specialised in film. She then moved to Munich to do a formation school to become a TV journalist. It was during this time that she worked in freelancing, did some internships and collaborated with film companies in Munich until she worked her way up to production. In 2017, she decided that she wanted to establish her own company, together with her partner, Andreas Pfohl, she founded NOZY Films, a film production company that specializes in commercials, documentaries and more. At the same time, she decided to get her bachelor’s degree before it’s too late and studied at the University of Television and Film in Munich. 

So how does someone manage running her own business and studying at the same time? Well, it’s all about finding the right balance. “You need to find the time to take it easy, take it slow and take breaks. When you take a break, it helps you to find inspiration and ideas and to continue forward,” clarifies Fariba. “You should not be scared to get work experience first before entering university. I learned what I really like and could test things out. This way, when you find what you like, you can go to university to further your knowledge on it” she points out. 

When reflecting on her time with us at Institut Montana, Fariba details just how it helped her get to where she is today. “My parents were searching for a boarding school and after checking out several places – they (and I) realized that Institut Montana would be the best fit – especially given the number of students, the amazing view and the overall feeling of being welcomed.” 

At Montana, Fariba started in the Swiss section before she switched to the international section to do the IB Diploma Programme, where she could further explore her creative side and had more flexibility on which areas to focus on. The IB gave her a lot of possibilities in picking and choosing projects which helped her in her current career as well as improving her English. 

“Some of the classes I took during the IB were Art and History,” recalls Fariba. “I could never tell you which one I prefered over the other because I loved both of my teachers. I believe these courses as well really helped inspire me to do film and to especially focus on documentaries. When I’m documenting events or topics that are happening now and in the past – that has a lot to do with history. Then, of course, the art classes helped me learn how to further develop my ideas.”  

Being independent and away from her parents at a young age allowed Fariba to learn how to live her own life. As a boarding student, she made many good friends that she is still in touch with today and for her it was a second home. Thinking back, it might have been the most valuable thing she learned at Institut Montana. “You have to be open to anyone and talk to everyone,” says Fariba. “This has really helped me find new clients and increase my network. In Montana, whenever there arrived new students, everyone was curious to get to know them and to learn from them. This is an important trait to have for the future. In filmmaking, you have to talk a lot, and everyone has their own sense of ideas and opinions. You have to go really deep in the conversations and have a mutual understanding from both sides to know where you want to go and what you want to do.”  

The unique location of Institut Montana on the Zugerberg was another benefit for Fariba, who loves running and moving and being in the nature. “It is perfect for your mind and body, I like physical activities and even in my job, we have to constantly be walking, running. We are not in the typical office space unless we have to prepare shoots, but I also don’t think I could sit in an office all day or else I would get bored. It’s a job where no two days are the same and I am always on my toes” she says.  

Her company NOZY Films, which is based in Munich, is specialized for commercials, documentaries and music videos, as well they write and develop fictional series. Ideally in the future of Nozy would mean to expand to Switzerland and to shoot big commercials around the world. If you are considering starting your own business or going into the film industry then Fariba advices you to, “put all your heart and effort in what you do and it’ll all come back to you. If you put in a lot, you will get a lot in your result. Don’t ever be happy with what you did so that you can keep improving upon yourself. You should still be proud of what you created but if you settle – then you can’t get better. I would also say to just look around you and your surroundings. Sometimes, the smallest things are the most valuable and the nicest stories to tell. It’s all about the simple things.”  

One of her best moments so far was probably in May, when her documentary SHAPES was shown at the Cannes Film Festival. During the film festival of Zug she already won the best film and the audience award, this year she was nominated for the SRG Directing Award. 

Get to know more about our Alumna Fariba at her personal homepage or at NOZY Films!

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