THE DIVINE ORDER is Switzerland’s entry for the Oscar race

THE DIVINE ORDER is Switzerland’s entry for the Oscar race

Switzerland sends THE DIVINE ORDER by Petra Volpe into the running for an Oscar nomination for Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards. The feature film about the introduction of women’s suffrage won three awards at the Tribeca Film Festival. Five Swiss short films are further eligible to be nominated in the Short Film category due to the awards they won at Oscar-qualifying festivals.

The film by Swiss director Petra Volpe, produced by Zodiac Pictures, premiered at the renowned Tribeca Film Festival in New York, where it won the Audience Award, the Award for the Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film (Marie Leuenberger), as well as the Nora Ephron Prize (writer/director Petra Volpe) “for its intrepid and compassionate storytelling, beautiful cinematography, complex characterization of the female experience, seamless navigation of both drama and comedy.” (jury).

This week, THE DIVINE ORDER (DIE GÖTTLICHE ORDNUNG) received two more awards at the 13th edition of the Traverse City Film Festival. The festival, which is presided over by Michael Moore, honors movies that advocate topics relevant to society.

World rights to the film were acquired by TrustNordisk from Denmark, with the screen rights already having been sold to over 15 countries. THE DIVINE ORDER has been screening very successfully in Swiss cinemas since March (distribution: Filmcoopi) with over 300,000 tickets sold nationally (4.5 Million USD). It’s currently showing in theaters in Germany and Austria (distribution: Alamode Filmdistribution). The US release is planned for the end of October (distribution: Kino Lorber; Zeitgeist Films).

Three Swiss Film Awards

In March 2017, THE DIVINE ORDER won the Swiss Film Award 2017 for Best Script, Best Actress (Marie Leuenberger), and for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Rachel Braunschweig).

The film tells the story of Nora, a young housewife and mother, who starts campaigning for women’s suffrage in a Swiss village in the 1970s. Between patriarchal constraints and sexual liberation, Nora’s emancipation cannot be stopped.

Petra Volpe and Zodiac Pictures

Petra Volpe has already made a name for herself internationally as a director and script writer. Among others, she wrote the script for the Swiss box-office hit HEIDI (2015), which was sold to approximately 100 countries and reached an audience of more than 3.5 million. Both for HEIDI and her last feature film DREAMLAND (TRAUMLAND), Volpe worked with the successful Swiss producers Lukas Hobi and Reto Schaerli of Zodiac Pictures.

Five shorts eligible for an Oscar nomination

For the 90th Academy Awards, five Swiss short films are so far eligible for a nomination. Thanks to the awards they won at Oscar-qualifying festivals, they are eligible in the categories Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, and Documentary Short Subject: WHATEVER THE WEATHER by Remo Scherrer, IN A NUTSHELL by Fabio Friedli, FACING MECCA by Jan-Eric Mack, EN LA BOCA by Matteo Gariglio, as well as MORIOM by Francesca Scalisi and Mark Olexa.

The promotion agency SWISS FILMS conducts the selection and submission process for the Swiss Oscar entry in the Foreign Language category on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture. SWISS FILMS further supports the Swiss entry’s promotional campaign financially. In December, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the shortlist of the films that are in the running, with the final Oscar nominations being published on January 23, 2018. The award ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on March 4, 2018.

Locarno, August 4, 2017

International Trailer


“Thanks to its director’s sturdy guidance and Leuenberger’s fine lead performance as Nora, whose resolve is colored by doubt and trepidation, the film never feels stilted or preachy; rather, it radiates an infectious admiration for the courage shown by its heroines in the face of immense obstacles.” Nick Schager, Variety
“The film is a socially relevant salute to feminism.” Allison Picurro, Indiewire
“THE DIVINE ORDER has a satisfying, feelgood trajectory and empathetic central performance from Marie Leuenberger.” Wendy Ide, Screen International
“It has everything that would entertain viewers — a compelling story, great acting and fine direction — and it’s sexy too!” Zeitgeist Films co-presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo, in Screen International.
“Swiss writer-director Petra Volpe’s comedy THE DIVINE ORDER is an unexpected delight.” Ren Jender, The Village Voice

AWARDS (a selection)
Traverse City Film Festival 2017
Audience Award Best Fiction Film / Founders Award Best Foreign Fiction Film
Tribeca Film Festival 2017, New York
Audience Award / Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film / Nora Ephron Prize
Swiss Film Award 2017
Best Screenplay / Best Actress / Best Performance in a Supporting Role
  Solothurn Film Festival 2017
Prix de Soleure

FESTIVALS (a selection)
Locarno Festival 2017
Traverse City Film Festival 2017
Filmfest München 2017
Shanghai International Film Festival 2017
Sydney Film Festival 2017
Tribeca Film Festival New York 2017
Solothurn Film Festival 2017


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