Oscars: Switzerland Selects 'My Life as a Courgette' For Foreign-Language Category

Ma Vie de Courgette - H 2016
Courtesy of Blue Spirit/Gebeka

Claude Barras' stop-motion animated feature about a 9-year-old orphan delighted critics at its debut in Cannes this year.

Switzerland is sending My Life as a Courgette, a stop-motion animated feature about the struggles and adventures of a young orphan boy, into the running for the 2017 foreign-language film Oscar.

The debut of Swiss-born director Claude Barras, the pic premiered to critical acclaim in Cannes this year before going on to win both the best feature honor and the audience award at the Annecy Animation Festival, the gold standard for international animation.

Based on the novel by French writer Gilles Paris, My Life as a Courguette was adapted for the big screen by Cesar-nominated French writer-director Celine Sciamma (Girlhood). Critics, including The Hollywood Reporter's Boyd van Hoeij, were impressed by Barras' ability to balance what is an often dark tale of social injustice with lightness and humor.

Buyers seem to agree. Indie Sales, which is handling worldwide rights to the film, has closed deals with more than 20 European countries as well as selected territories in Asia and the Middle East. U.S. rights are currently under negotiation.

Tiny Switzerland has punched above its weight in the foreign-language category of the Oscars. The country has been nominated five times for best foreign-language film and won twice: in 1984 for Richard Dembo's Dangerous Moves and again in 1990 for Journey of Hope from director Xavier Koller.