French-Swiss director to head Camera d’Or Jury at Cannes 2018

Award winner Ursula Meier leads the search for young talent


March 28, 2018

/ By / Kolkata

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Photo: IMDB

Photo: IMDB

As the countdown to the prestigious film festival is nearing, award-winning filmmaker Ursula Meier will be heading the Camera d’Or Jury at Cannes along with six contemporaries.

Meier, known for her minimalistic take on everyday life through the poetry of words and an astute sense of direction, has taken the art of storytelling through a fresh perspective, one that was needed. The director/screenwriter known for delivering hits like Strong Shoulders (2003), Home (2008) and Sister (2012) will be presiding over the Camera d’Or Jury at the 71st Festival de Cannes to be held from May 8-19.

The filmmaker will select the best film presented in the Official Selection, Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight.

A review on New York Times about her feature debut, Home read, “The French-Swiss director, Ursula Meier, making her feature debut, has wittily characterized the film as the opposite of a road movie, “it is its negation in some way,” which becomes more evident when traffic starts flowing. But “Home” is, as with so many family stories, also something of a disaster movie: the walls shudder and crack, and eventually so do the people inside them.”

Meier’s Home (2008) and Sister (2012), won the Silver Bear at the Berlinale and “are internationally acclaimed for their original angle and writing.” In 2014, she participated in the film Bridges of Sarajevo, a collective work by 13 European filmmakers, presented at Cannes in the Official Selection.

Reacting to the news, she was quoted saying, “A first film is the place of all possibilities, of all audacity, of all risk-taking, of all madness. It is often said that you should not put everything into a first film but the opposite is true, you should put in exactly that – everything – just as you should put everything into every film while always preserving deep within yourself that original, vital, brutal, wild desire of the first time. What immense excitement and joy to discover all these films!”

Having discovered Money by French auteur Robert Bresson, Meier decided to take to film direction and became an assistant director to a major figure in Swiss cinema, Alain Tanner with Fourbi (1996).

Thus, having earned an important position in European parallel cinema, Meier not only significantly contributed to the art of filmmaking by taking on the complexity of the world through her lens and writing but also closed in on a non-woman’s land.

“Ursula Meier has compiled a bold cinematography that emphasises the complexity of the world,” reads a description from the Cannes website.

Ursula Meier and her jury will present the Caméra d’Or award at the Closing Ceremony of the Festival de Cannes. The winning film will succeed Léonor Serraille’s Montparnasse Bienvenüe,  which world premiered in the Official Selection – Un Certain Regard last year.


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