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HANSHI CHARLIE – A Fighters Journey

The Swiss-Austrian jujitsu grandmaster Charlie Lenz has turned martial arts into a way of life for him. Upcoming documentary filmmaker Luis Balthisar Balzer tells his story with a mixture of beautifully made animation sequences and filmed shots. The short is about an outstanding way of life, about how it came to be, relating a story that ranges from a village in Austria to Switzerland, Japan and ultimately to the Mediterranean island of Formentera.

It is the portrait of an extraordinary man who has lived his life passionately and with dedication. His experience at the world’s most rigorous karate school is just as much a part of this biography as are his encounters with Zen masters.

  • Luis Balthisar Balzer
  • Luis Balthisar Balzer
  • Benedek Sulyok
    Welcome (2017)
  • Justine Klaiber
  • Luis Balthisar Balzer
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    HANSHI CHARLIE – Kampf und Lebenskunst
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Student
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes 27 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 9, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 CHF
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Portugal, Spain, Switzerland
  • Language:
    Swiss German
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Die Seriale
    35390 Gießen
    June 14, 2019
    German Premiere
    Official Selection
  • ZHDK Highlights
    September 22, 2018
    bachelor premiere of the three part webseries
    Bachelor of Arts in Design Highlight Selection
  • Global India International Film Festival 2019
Distribution Information
  • Edition Frida
    Country: Switzerland
    Rights: Internet
Director - Luis Balthisar Balzer
Director Statement

Luis Balthisar Balzer completed a Bachelor of Arts in Design, Cast – Audiovisual Media at Zurich University of Arts (ZHdK) in the summer of 2018. The subject of his three-part web documentary was also Charlie Lenz. In collaboration with Swiss draughtswoman Justin Klaiber and cameraman Avi Sliman, he wove together three important episodes from the Hanshi’s life into a video portrait lasting about 20 minutes. And now an extended version – the master cut – which came out on 09.03.19 with the book «Hanshi Charlie - A way of living» on «Edition Frida», a small book publishing company, which startet as a family business.