Oscars 2017: These Swiss films are in the running
It is looking to be a fantastic year for Swiss films in the race for the 89th Academy Awards: The international high-flyer and official Swiss Oscar entry “My Life as a Zucchini” (“Ma vie de Courgette”) is additionally competing in the Best Animated Feature category. The successful year for Swiss animation films is also reflects impressively in the short film categories: Three short animated films as well as two Swiss short films are eligible to be nominated for an Oscar this year.
With “My Life as a Zucchini” by Claude Barras (Rita Productions, Geneva), Switzerland is sending its most successful animation film into the race for the golden statue in the Foreign Language Film category. The US distributor GKIDS (New York) has further entered the stop-motion animation in the Best Animated Feature category. The film is undergoing an unprecedented festival career, resulting in a veritable shower of prizes. Following the prestigious “Cristal du Long métrage” and the Audience Award at the renowned Festival International du Film d’Animation in Annecy, the film also won the Audience Award for Best European Film at the San Sebastián Film Festival and the prize of the Frankfurt Book Fair for the best screen adaptation in the Films for Children and Young Adults category.
“My Life as a Zucchini” is further nominated for the European Film Awards in the Animated Feature Film category (award ceremony on December 10, 2016) and is applying for a Golden Globe nomination as Best Animated Motion Picture (announcement of the nominations on December 12, 2016). The Swiss producers Max Karli and Pauline Gygax are currently travelling the US with director Claude Barras in order to introduce their film to the professional audience members that are eligible to vote as well as to the Academy members. The Swiss co-producer Michel Merkt was included in the US film magazine Variety’s list of “Ten Producers to Watch 2016”. To date, “My Life as a Zucchini” has been sold in over 50 countries. The film is currently screening very successfully in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Five short animation films or short films eligible for nomination
No less than three animated short films are eligible to be nominated for an Oscar in the Animated Short Subject category due to the awards they won at Oscar-qualifying festivals: “Erlking” (Studio GDS, Carouge GE) by the Swiss animation film luminary Georges Schwizgebel qualified itself thanks to the Golden Dove it won at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film. “The Bridge Over The River”, produced and realized by Jadwiga Kowalska, can also join the race for a nomination thanks to the “Pardino d’oro” for the best Swiss short film at this year’s Locarno Film Festival. “Analysis Paralysis” (Virage Film, Zurich) by Anete Melece has qualified itself with the Animated Grand Prix at the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in Bristol.
In the Live Action Short category, two Swiss short films are eligible to be nominated: “Bon Voyage” (Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion, Zurich) by Marc Raymond Wilkins tells the story of a couple which, during a sailing trip on the Mediterranean, encounters a refugee boat that has run adrift. The film won the award for Best Live Action Short Over 15 Minutes at the Palm Springs International ShortFest. “La femme et le TGV” (arbel gmbh) by Timo von Gunten, in which Jane Birkin plays the leading role, was able to qualify itself for a nomination thanks to its theatrical release in Los Angeles.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science will announce the Oscar nominations in January 2017.
SWISS FILMS, November 10, 2016
>> “Ma vie de Courgette” is Switzerland’s entry for the Oscar race (Webnews August 5)