Meier on a mission to find best first film

Swiss film-maker at the helm of Cannes Camera d’Or jury

by Richard Mowe

Ursula Meier heads up the Cannes Camera d’Or jury deliberating on first films
Ursula Meier heads up the Cannes Camera d’Or jury deliberating on first films Photo: Raphael Zubler/Festival de Cannes

Cannes Film Festival organisers have revealed the name of this year's president of the Caméra d'or Jury - Swiss director Ursula Meier.

Along with six fellow-professionals Meier will select the best first film presented in the Official Selection, the Semaine de la Critique and the Directors' Fortnight.

Meier boasts a small but perfectly formed filmography, which includes five short films, two works for television, two documentaries and two feature films for cinema - Home in 2008 and Sister (L’enfant d’en haut) which won the Silver Bear in Berlin in 2012. She also contributed to Bridges Of Sarajevo, a portmanteau film involving 13 European film-namers which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.

She took her first steps as an assistant director alongside Swiss veteran Alain Tanner on Fourbi in 1996. She’s an admirer of the work of Robert Bresson.

She believes that with a first film anything is possible. “It is often said that for a first film you should not put in everything but on the contrary I believe you have to put everything in a first film. You have to be true to yourself and the original desire that brought you to cinema for the first time’” she said. “A first film is the place of all possibilities, of all audacity, of all madness."

The Camera d’Or prize will be bestowed at the closing ceremony on Saturday 19 May. Last year Sandrine Kiberlain’s jury rewarded Léonor Serraille’s Montparnasse Bienvenue/Jeune Femme.

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