Ursula Meier (© Raphael Zubler)
A representative of the new generation of filmmakers is heading the Caméra d’or Jury of 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Along with six fellow professionals, Swiss filmmaker Ursula Meier, 46, will select the best first film presented in the Official Selection, the Semaine de la Critique and the Directors’ Fortnight.
Meier is a filmmaker who questions the very need to film. This undoubtedly explains her compact and exciting filmography, which includes five short films, two works for television, two documentaries and two feature films for cinema.
Each of the inventive strokes of brilliance has been upsetting the apple cart with a fresh take and establishing Meier definitively on the European scene. Since 1994, she has compiled a bold cinematography that emphasizes the complexity of the world.
An unconditional admirer of “Wanda” by Barbara Loden and “Sweetie” by Jane Campion, Meier decided to take up directing after discovering “Money” by Robert Bresson. Meier then became assistant director to a major figure in Swiss cinema, Alain Tanner, with “Fourbi” in 1996.
According to Meier, she is fascinated by the notion of no man’s land where she has built her imagination. She and manages to reach out to buried areas of human nature, filming with tenderness, without pathos or judgment, characters who are guided by a powerful survival instinct.
In 2014, Meier participated in the film “Bridges of Sarajevo,” a collective work by 13 European filmmakers, presented at Cannes in the Official Selection. Her films for cinema “Home” in 2008 and “Sister” in 2012, winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlinale, are internationally acclaimed for their original angle and writing.
Both “Home” and “Sister” are radical and poetic. The former is a fable shot with pale light and warm photography and the latter is a modern tale in the form of a sober and poignant family chronicle.
“A first film is the place of all possibilities, of all audacity, of all risk-taking, of all madness,” Meier said. “It is often said that you should not put everything into a first film but the opposite is true, you should put in exactly that everything just as you should put everything into every film while always preserving deep within yourself that original, vital, brutal, wild desire of the first time. What immense excitement and joy to discover all these films!”
On May 19, 2018, Meier and her jury will present the Caméra d’or award at the Closing Ceremony of the Festival de Cannes. The winning film will succeed Léonor Serraille’s “Montparnasse Bienvenüe, “presented in the Official Selection – Un Certain Regard in 2017.