Heidi's Heimat

Heidi Ulrich is the Dutch ‘Mad Heidi’

The long-awaited film Mad Heidi will premiere on September 7 at the BIFFF film festival in Brussels. I’ve been watching this movie since 2017 and I’m attending the premiere in original Mad Heidi outfit!

Death to the Fatherland! Hail to the Motherland! – Heidi

In 2017 I got wind of the new film by Johannes Hartmann, with the working title ‘Heidiland’. The rumor turned into a plan, and the plan got a short teaser movie with Jessy Moravec as Heidi.

Jessy Moravec as Heidi

Seeing the resemblance between me and the lead actress, I decided to sew such a costume myself. I already had the basics for that, so I shot a quick Insta selfie and threw it on the internet. Director Johannes reacted enthusiastically. The ‘Heidiland cosplay’ was received with acclaim.

After that, the film kind of fell into oblivion. Financing became a long story, the title had to be changed to ‘Mad Heidi’ because the region of the same name in Switzerland did not want to link its fame to it. But as we know, brave Swiss girls don’t give up – and neither do the men there. After selling some merchandise, more had to be done. A professional crowdfunding was started. I bought a share because hey, this was definitely ‘my movie’! And behold, behold, with the deposit of several hundreds of euros by other fans, piggy bank slowly filled up.

The battle was not yet over. COVID-19 came into play and put production on hold for months. Actress Jessy Moravec opted out of Heidi’s Lead Role – What?! – yes, because she now wanted to focus on directing. A good choice, but now Heidi was lost. No, they didn’t call me. I had also not been in the picture as a fan in those five years, and besides, I am not an actress, but a web developer.

The solution came with the arrival of Alice Lucy, who may not look like me, but the crew had no way of knowing. She has taken over from Jessy and brought the production of the film to a successful conclusion – with Heidi.\

Alice Lucy as Heidi

This summer I got news again: the film was ready, finished, and was finally going to premiere!

I immediately checked my share plan and all my conversations with the crew, but unfortunately, there was no special invitation or free ticket. I think I should have kept the bonds warmer. It didn’t matter, because the film will be shown for the first time at the BIFFF (Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival); a ticket for this film only costs 11 euros and that is excellent! They don’t have to gift me that.

My friend Annelore, whom I got to know during my graduation in Finland, immediately called out that she had a spare room for me. Only half an hour from Brussels! Plus: she’s going to have fun! What a nice reunion that will be, 13 years after our time in the Finnish far north. I’m already looking forward to it.

At the beginning of next week I will board the train to Brussels and stay there for a day. In the evening I put on my costume and we go to the movies together. I’ve been working on the costume for 3 weeks now, with a quiet five-year break. At many moments it was hard work, trying out new materials, rowing with the oars I have. But it will be beautiful!

Heidi Ulrich as Heidi