Switzerland plumps for Markus Imhoof's Eldorado as its representative for the Oscars
by Giorgia Del Don
- In the words of the jury, “Eldorado deals with the current global humanitarian crisis in close connection with the director’s own personal story; a perturbing and unavoidable drama”
The autobiographical documentary Eldorado [+see also:
film profile] by Markus Imhoof has won over a jury comprising producers Pauline Gygax, Joëlle Bertossa and Reto Schaerli, director Christian Frei and casting director Corinna Glaus. They thus chose it as the Swiss representative in the race for a nomination for the 91st edition of the Academy Awards, in the Best Foreign-language Film category.
Eldorado, which was world-premiered Out of Competition at the 2018 Berlinale, where it picked up a Special Mention from the Amnesty International Award jury, starts off with the director’s childhood memories before broadening its scope and becoming searingly topical. The main character in the film is Giovanna, a young Italian girl who sought refuge in Switzerland – in Imhoof’s own family – during World War II but died at the tender age of 14 on her way back home. In parallel with the story of Giovanna, the director trains his camera on a boat full of refugees on their way to Europe, weaving a web of similarities that make the two stories almost the mirror image of each other.
This nod serves to lengthen the already huge list of prizes and nominations that Markus Imhoof has garnered: he earned the Silver Bear for Best Feature Film at the Berlinale in 1981 with The Boat Is Full, which also earned an Oscar nomination, again in the Best Foreign-language Film category, and more recently, he scooped Best Documentary Film at the Swiss Film Awards for More Than Honey [+see also:
interview: Markus Imhoof
film profile], which is, to date, the Swiss documentary that has proved most successful in both Swiss and foreign theatres.
Eldorado was co-produced by Swiss outfit Thelma Film (Pierre-Alain Meier), Berlin-based zero one film GmbH (Thomas Kufus), SRF (Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen), SSR and Bayerischer Rundfunk. Behind the camera was brilliant Swiss DoP Peter Indergand, who has been nominated for the Emmy Awards, among others. Composer Peter Scherer (Swiss Film Award for Best Film Score in 2012 for More Than Honey) was in charge of the music.
Berlin-based Films Boutique is managing the movie’s world sales, and it has already been released theatrically in Switzerland (Frenetic Films), Germany (Majestic Filmverleih) and Austria (Filmladen). It will be out soon in cinemas in France (Jour2Fête), Poland and Hungary.
Eldorado will be screened at the Locarno Film Festival, in the Panorama Suisse section.
(Translated from Italian)
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