Svoboda, Austria's hopeful
While Germany has announced The Lives of Others [+see also:
interview: Florian Henckel von Donners…
interview: Ulrich Muehe
film profile] as its Oscar candidate and other European countries have yet to come to a decision, Austria has put forward You Bet Your Life [+see also:
film profile], the directorial debut feature by Antonin Svoboda, as its 2007 Oscar candidate for Best Foreign Language Film.
Previous films (co-)produced by the director for Coop99 – an outfit founded with his friends Barbara Albert, Jessica Hausner and Martin Gschlacht – include Lovely Rita [+see also:
film profile], Hotel [+see also:
film profile], The Edukators and Darwin's Nightmare.
Produced by Coop 99 and co-produced by Swiss outfit Triluna Film AG, You Bet Your Life is the story of a gambler who quite literally begins to gamble his life away.
The seven-strong jury has chosen the film to represent Austria at the Oscars, as it especially appreciated the quite remarkable quality of interaction between its leads, Georg Friedrich and Brigitte Minichmayr.
The film was released in Austria on January 20 through Polyfilm and has also toured the festival circuit extensively, from Toronto (where it had its world preview screening) to San Sebastian, to the Vienna Film Festival in autumn 2005 and Rotterdam in January of this year – and its international career has only just begun, with Bavaria Film International expected to sell the title to further territories.
(Translated from French)