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Dear all,

An IWC Microsite dedicated to "The Crossing" just went live, showing exclusively the 14 minute performance from the Geneva Event, with Cate Blanchett and Joseph Fiennes.

The site can be accessed directly at: http://www.iwc.com/thecrossing or via www.iwc.com.

Press Release:
Cate Blanchett and Joseph Fiennes perform on the IWC Schaffhausen website

On its website www.iwc.ch, IWC presents the short film of a multimedia performance by the Sydney Theatre Company, interpreting the story of how the watch manufacturer was founded and starring Cate Blanchett and Joseph Fiennes.

Schaffhausen, 24 June 2008 – The watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen is celebrating the online premiere of “Minutes of a Separation”, with the lead roles played by Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Hollywood actor Joseph Fiennes. The first showing of the multimedia stage play was given to 1,700 guests at a gala night organised by IWC at the SIHH watch fair in Geneva and can now be viewed by the general public as a 20-minute short film on www.iwc.com/thecrossing. The “Making-of”, which contains interviews with Cate Blanchett, the director and other actors, provides a fascinating look behind the scenes.

What was celebrated as the highlight of the glamorous IWC gala in Geneva by an international audience is, as of today, now available online as a film premiere. Under the artistic lead of Cate Blanchett, the Sydney Theatre Company has created an inspirational cultural project which is a tribute to the company’s 140th anniversary. The lavishly-staged multimedia theatre performance, which was written specially for this event, is a creative interpretation of the myth surrounding the founder of IWC.

In the film, Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is the pregnant wife who is left behind by IWC founder Florentine Ariosto Jones, played by the British actor Joseph Fiennes. Fiennes, who featured alongside Cate Blanchett in the 1998 historical dramatisation “Elizabeth”, is as convincing in “Shakespeare in Love” as he is starring as Reformer Martin Luther and also appears as Nelson Mandela’s prison guard in “Goodbye Bafana”. In the Sydney Theatre Company script, Joseph Fiennes plays an adventurous watchmaker and engineer struggling to succeed in his bold vision, which drives him into European exile in an attempt to raise the manufacture of watch movements to a new and cheaper level of production.

It is not only in Nigel Jamieson’s stage version that IWC founder Jones becomes the discoverer who ventures out on a transatlantic voyage to make his fortune in Switzerland – just as much as being part of the IWC success story, these facts are historically verified. Yet, much of what is shown on stage is actually fiction. And as in any good play, reality and dream merge to create a fascinating notion of what might have been. The not unhazardous passage to Europe in the 19th century is accentuated by the masterful acrobatic display of the award-winning Australian physical theatre company “Legs on the Wall” in an aesthetic live performance.

According to director Nigel Jamieson, he spent three months dramatising the myth of how IWC was founded, which on stage lasts just 20 minutes and is being shown as a short film in the Internet version (
www.iwc.com/thecrossing). The play by the Sydney Theatre Company (art direction Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton) combines traditional spoken theatre with contemporary multimedia forms and uses the acrobatic virtuosity of the “aerialists”. IWC has a tradition of working with big-name artists – last year, Oscar winner Kevin Spacey was outstanding in a play by the watch manufacturer and in the previous year, character actor John Malkovich showcased his talent in the short film “Pilots”.
 
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