Oscars: Switzerland Selects 'The Divine Order' for Foreign-Language Category

The Divine Order
Zodiac Pictures

Petra Volpe's dramedy about the fight for women’s suffrage in Switzerland (in 1971!) won the audience award at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Switzerland has picked The Divine Order, a feel-good drama about the fight for women's suffrage in Europe's last patriarchal holdout, as its entry for the 2018 foreign-language Oscar race.

The film chronicles Switzerland's long-suffering suffragettes, who finally won women the right to vote in 1971. Marie Leuenberger stars as a young housewife and mother living in a Swiss village who gets caught up in the campaign.

Directed by Petra Volpe, The Divine Order premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won an audience award, as well as actress honors for Leuenberger and the festival's Nora Ephron Prize for Volpe.

At home, the movie has a been a box-office smash, selling more than 300,000 tickets for a total box office of some $4.5 million, a huge figure for the tiny Alpine nation. The film is looking to continue its winning streak when it bows in neighboring Germany this weekend.

Kino Lorber and Zeitgeist Films have picked up The Divine Order for the U.S. and plan to release the film stateside this fall. TrustNordisk, which is handling international sales on the title, have already inked deals for more than 15 territories for The Divine Order.

Switzerland has punched above its weight at the Oscars, with five nominations and two Academy Awards in the foreign language category: in 1984 for Richard Dembo's Dangerous Moves and for Xavier Koller's Journey of Hope in 1990.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its shortlist of the films in the running for the 2018 foreign language category this December. The final Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 23.

The 90th Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on March 4.