My Journey to the Oscars: Maria Schrader, Director of ‘I’m Your Man’

In a new series, Diversity chat with the directors of the films shortlisted for the International Feature Film Oscars to discuss their path to the awards, what they’ve learned so far, and what made them lose the scene sense.

Maria Schrader, who won an Emmy Award for directing the Netflix series “Unorthodox”, was also an actor who won the Berlin Silver Bear for “Aimée & Jaguar” (1999). Her latest film “I’m Your Man” follows a scientist (Maren Eggert, “Giraffe”) who agrees to live for three weeks with a humanoid robot (Dan Stevens, “Downton Abbey”) designed plan to make her happy. The film premieres at the Berlinale in 2021, where Maren Eggert won the Silver Bear for best performance and won the German Film Award.

What does being shortlisted for the Oscars for Best International Drama mean to you?

It is simply an honor. This catalog with nearly 100 entries offers a journey across the world, diverse in voices, languages ​​and landscapes, stories and perspectives. Being shortlisted is not only a great honor, but also a huge opportunity, and I am delighted that ‘I’m Your Man’ is being watched by so many people.

By far, what was the most challenging aspect of your campaign?

In our COVID reality, I was only able to once accompany the film on its advocacy journey, and it was challenging, and in many cases impossible, for everyone to see it. movies on the big screen.

Although you were shortlisted in the international feature category, the best photo category did not feature non-English features. “Parasite” (2019) is the first winner in history. Do you feel that international voices are being blocked from the media and film critics?

It seems that more and more international films are being recognized by US film critics. And of course, it’s natural for “Parasite” to win the best photo. No American film has yet won Best Picture at the German Film Awards or Cesars or Goyas. The Oscars could become the Global Film Awards, open to any country – maybe one day opening the door to machine-made work!

Are there ways to improve this process when it comes to awards season?

It can be difficult to specifically assess the process this year, as everything is done virtual. Movies are viewed on computers, interviews are conducted via Zoom. We’ve all gotten used to it, it works better than we thought, I still look forward to seeing the movies in theaters and seeing each other in person.

When it comes to trying to appeal to an international movie-watching audience, it seems to focus on the length of a movie, but when something like “Avengers: Endgame” gets a three-hour run, Marvel fans have no idea what it’s going to be. were surprised and said they could go longer if they wanted to. Is that fair?

Every filmmaker really knows when their story ends. I think the audience understands and accepts that.

The Academy has backed European nations, with Italy and France winning three times more than a country like Japan. How can we encourage more diversity from all countries across the globe?

I think maybe some European countries have given more financial support to their films. It would be great if every country supported filmmakers and their art.

You are representing your country in front of an American awards organization (although there are international voters). How do you feel about being an agent?

I’m happy to represent Germany with a comedy, or let’s say a poignant comedy. Most years Germany engages with quite dramatic and/or historical films, but If the humor shifts to other cultures and languages, it’s a great experience. “I’m Your Man” has sold in 80 territories and it would be nice to team up with “Toni Erdman” and be able to expand the serious image of German film into something a little more lighthearted.

As the film represents your country, do you have access to any government grants/funds for the campaign?

Germany has always had the support of the German Film organization. I believe they work directly with US distributors to provide support.

What message do you want to convey with “I am Your Man”?

Love can be found in unexpected places. And life will be better if we don’t aspire to perfection but accept our own frenzy, because machines can sooner or later become better humans.

For that last year’s winner [“Another Round”] as much comic book as your movie, do you think that bodes well for the movie’s chances in the grim times we live in today?

I think people are craving to see a comedy these days. We all need laughter and romance, and we all need hope.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on February 8.

https://variety.com/2022/awards/global/maria-schrader-im-your-man-journey-oscars-1235160867/ My Journey to the Oscars: Maria Schrader, Director of ‘I’m Your Man’

Fry Electronics Team

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