My Wonderful Wanda
Wanda, mein WunderDirected by Bettina Oberli
Cast: Agnieszka Grochowska, André Jung, Birgit Minichmayr, Jacob Matschenz, Marthe Keller
Winner of the 25th Anniversary Berlin & Beyond Film Festival San Francisco’s 2021 Audience Award in the Narrative Feature category. Statement by Director Bettina Oberli: “I am very pleased to win this prize, and would have loved to pick it up in San Francisco in person. Unfortunately, this year is far from usual in many ways. I am very pleased that so many people took part in this special edition of the festival regardless. Wanda is a family story set in Switzerland and Poland. However, it could play anywhere, as it deals with intimacy and distance, independence and dependency, give and take in socially and politically turbulent times. And it poses the question: What holds a family together? Apparently, the film is able to move people on the other side of the globe as well, and this makes me especially happy. Many, many thanks!”
This delightful satire of the haves and the have-nots is set against the backdrop of a gorgeous lakeside villa in Switzerland. Wanda is a Polish caretaker who has left her own small children in Poland to look after a stroke-ridden patriarch of a wealthy Wegmeister-Gloor dynasty. Wanda adeptly navigates the tricky family dynamics between the two grown (if still childish) offspring and the elegant if controlling matriarch, but an unexpected turn of events turns everything upside down.
Winner of awards at Tribeca and Vancouver Film Festivals.
This special presentation is followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with Director and Screenwriter Bettina Oberli. With special guest Amy Kisch (Founder & Artistic Director, Art+Action), and moderated by Jale Yoldas (Cultural and Public Diplomacy Officer of the Consulate General of Switzerland).
Bettina Oberli grew up in Samoa and Meiringen in Switzerland and lives as a writer/director in Zurich. She graduated from the Zurich University of the Arts. This was followed by various assistantships in New York and Berlin. Her short and long feature films have been shown at festivals around the world and have been shown in cinemas in various countries. Her well recognized debut film Im Nordwind premiered 2004 at the San Sebastian international Filmfestival and has been awarded with several prizes. Her most successful film to date was Late Bloomers (2006), which still remains among the top 3 Swiss feature films of all time. 2018 she premiered her first french-speaking film Le Vent Tourne at the Locarno Film Festival.
Bettina Oberli also makes music videos and short films. In 2013 she showed her first stage production at the Theater Basel with “Anna Karenina”. She is also an Opera Director, and My Wonderful Wanda (2020) is her sixth feature length film.
Amy Kisch is the founder of Art+Action, Collect For Change™, and AKArt Advisory. Her work, which includes movement making, public campaigns, and exhibitions, uniquely leverages art’s capacity to inspire people to action, deepen public discussions around collective responsibility, and serve as a vehicle to civic agency. In 2020, Art+Action launched ‘Come To Your Census,’ an arts-driven national multilingual public media and programming campaign, which was awarded an unsolicited Ford Foundation grant. Combining her experience in contemporary art and her Masters in Social Work, Kisch is committed to democratizing access within the arts, while upholding integrity and rigor in curatorial vision, programming, and collaborations.
Photo: Christopher Polydoroff