“Charter” is an Oscar hopeful. Sweden has submitted Amanda Kernell’s second feature in the Best International Feature Film category at the 2021 Academy Awards, a press release from the Swedish Film Institute confirmed.
Written by Kernell, the drama tells the story of Alice (Ane Dahl Torp), a woman who takes desperate measures to reunite with her two children after being separated from them for months. “After a recent and difficult divorce, her ex-husband (Sverrir Gudnason) keeps them from seeing her, awaiting the final custody verdict in northern Sweden. When her son calls her in the middle of the night weeping helplessly, Alice takes action. In a last desperate attempt to win them over, she abducts her children and ventures on an illicit charter trip to the Canary Islands,” the film’s synopsis details.
“I have a personal perspective and a family history with generations of divorce. I liken ‘Charter’ to a love letter I was finally able to write: a declaration of love to all divorced parents,” Kernell told us ahead of the film’s world premiere at Sundance. “I think of it also as a love story between a mother and daughter caught in the nightmare of a parents’ greatest fear — losing their children. I make films about my fears and I think one of the worst things anyone can face is to lose your children,” she explained. “When you are caught in the middle of a custody battle, how far should you go to fight for your kids? And is there a point when you, as a parent, should let go?
Kernell made her feature debut with 2016’s “Sami Blood.”
Other entries in the International Feature Film category include Naomi Kawase’s “True Mothers” and Deepa Mehta’s “Funny Boy.” The former, submitted by Japan, follows two mothers on a collision course, and the latter, submitted by Canada, is set in Sri Lanka during the ’70s and ’80s and depicts a young boy’s sexual awakening.
Oscar nominations will be announced March 15. The ceremony is slated to take place April 25.