A Chat with the Team Behind Switzerland's Oscar Entry 'Sister' (Video)
Writer-director Ursula Meier, child actor Kasey Mottet Klein, and distributor Jeff Lipsky talk to THR about the gripping drama, which won a Silver Bear at Berlin.
As I predicted earlier this week, a five-member jury in Switzerland has chosen, from a shortlist of five options, Ursula Meier's Sister (L'enfant d'en haut) as its submission to the Academy for consideration in the best foreign language Oscar race. The French-language film, a gripping and beautifully-made drama with a third-act twist, revolves around a 12-year-old thief (Kacey Mottet Klein, who also starred in Meier's last film Home), his mysterious guardian (Léa Seydoux from Midnight in Paris and Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol), and his victims (including Gillian Anderson of The X-Files). It premiered at February's Berlin Film Festival, where Meier won a prestigious Silver Bear Award. It subsequently played at many film festivals, including the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. And it will go into limited release -- courtesy of Jeff Lipsky's new distribution operation Adopt Films limited -- on October 5.
Meier's last film Home was the Swiss entry in 2009, but failed to get nominated. That led some to believe the jury would give this year's spot to one of the other four films: Xavier Koller's Someone Like Me, a period piece based on a well-known novel about star-crossed lovers; Markus Imboden's The Foster Boy, a sad tale about an orphan whose foster parents make his life a living hell; Nicolas Wadimoff’s drama Opération Libertad, which premiered at Cannes; or Christoph Schaub’s drama Lullaby Ride, which premiered at Locarno. (Koller's previous Swiss film, Journey of Hope, was released 22 years ago, and was the last Swiss film to win -- or even be nominated for -- the best foreign language film Oscar.)
I recently caught up with Lipsky, Meier, and Mottet Klein during a reception for the film that the Swiss Consul General in Los Angeles held at his home. As you can see below, the Consul General corralled Meier and Mottet Klein to offer some introductory remarks to the guests. And, as you can see above, I corralled them, plus Lipsky, to talk to me about the film and how they each came to be a part of it. I hope that you'll take a moment to check out both videos!