Swiss filmmaker Ursula Meier has been set as president of this year’s Caméra d’or Jury for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival. The prize goes to the debut effort presented across the Official Selection as well as Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight. Sister director Meier will be joined by six fellow panelists.
Meier’s own filmography is compact. She has made two features, 2008’s Home and 2012’s Sister. The latter won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, scored an Indie Spirit nomination and was shortlisted for the Foreign Language Oscar. Her most recent work, the produced-for-television Shock Waves: Diary Of My Mind, ran in the Panorama section at Berlin last month. In 2014, she participated in the collective film Bridges Of Sarajevo, which ran in Cannes’ Official Selection.
Says Meier, “A first film is the place of all possibilities, of all audacity, of all risk-taking, of all madness. 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!”
The Caméra d’Or will be presented at the closing ceremony of the festival on May 19. Last year’s winner was Léonor Serraille’s Montparnasse Bienvenüe which came out of Un Certain Regard. Other previous winners have included Benh Zeitlin, Steve McQueen, Miranda July, Jafar Panahi and Ildiko Enyedi who was nominated for an Oscar this year with Hungary’s On Body And Soul.