Swiss Entry to the Oscars: Gay Love, Disability, Prostitution or Lausanne’s Blues?

 (Update: the Circle was selected on 20 September as the official Swiss entry to the Oscars).

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A film that was partially shot in Lausanne or one about gay love could give Switzerland a shot as Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

Five films – selected by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture – are screened at the Délemont-Hollywood Festival and a winner chosen.

The victor receives CHF60,000 to promote the film among Academy  members who ultimately decide which countries compete for the Award.

The announcement of the selected six countries is made in Los Angeles in January 2015, two months prior to the Oscars.

Making it to the Oscars and winning is a long-drawn-out process but not an unusual feat for Switzerland.

The Swiss have taken the Oscar home twice, in 1984 and 1990 (the last two times it was nominated).

Switzerland has participated as a nominee an additional three times: in 1970, 1973 and 1981.

This year’s films offer a bit of everything, however, one of the most-talked about movie is “Der Kreis” or “The Circle”, a docudrama by Stefan Haupt, which took the Audience Award at the Berlinale and has accumulated other awards overseas.

The film depicts the life of a long-term gay couple that meets in Zurich at the only “gay self-help organization” that survived the Nazi period in Europe. The film is beautifully shot and intertwined with real-life drama. An easy digest:

“Left Foot Right Foot” by Germinal Roaux, is the only French-language film selected. It has already won the Swiss Film Prize. It is a black-and-white coming-of-age movie that involves skating and prostitution in Lausanne. (By the way, the main actor is Argentinian).

The other three selected films are:

– ‘Der Goalie bin ig” by Sabine Boss, which has already won the Swiss Film Prize in four categories, including best feature film;
– “Traumland” by Petra Volpe, which won the Swiss Film Prize for Best Actress tells the story of a young Roma sex worker in Zurich who finds friendship and love;
– “Dank für Nichts Vielen” by Oliver Paulus and Stefan Hillebrand, which participated in the 37th Mostra Internacional del Cinema Sao Paulo, is a comedy about friends in wheelchairs and other persons with disabilities living their lives naughtily.

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