Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Generation 14plus


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‘Please hear my prayer. You know that I need your help. You know that I am alone. In a country I don’t know. In a language I don’t speak. In a life I don’t understand.’

In a monastery at the heart of the snow-covered massif of the Swiss Simplon pass, 14-years-old Fortuna folds her hands in prayer, kneeling before a statue of the blessed mother. A photograph of her parents, not seen since the traumatic crossing of the Mediterranean, keeps their memory alive. Like many other refugees, the Ethiopian girl has found shelter with Catholic friars – for the interim, until her residency status is resolved. Lonely and filled with longing to be comforted, Fortuna bears a secret, one which she even keeps from the abbot. With a grand palette of images, from the violently churning sea to the sublimely menacing Alpine peaks, Germinal Roaux paints the portrait of a soul left stranded and attempts to fathom the limits of love.

Germinal Roaux

Switzerland / Belgium 2018

French, Amharic

106’ · Black/White

World premiere


Kidist Siyum Beza (Fortuna)
Bruno Ganz (Brother Jean)
Patrick d’Assumçao (Mr. Blanchet)
Assefa Zerihun Gudeta (Kabir)
Yoann Blanc (Brother Luc)


Written and directed by
Germinal Roaux
Colin Lévêque
Sophie Vercruysse, Jacques Comets
Sound Design
Emmanuel Soland
Jürg Lempen, Roman Dymny, Emmanuel Soland
Production Design
Ivan Niclass
Geneviève Maulini
Laurence Rieux
Muriel Imbach
Assistant Director
Freddy Verhoeven
Executive Producer
Jean-Marie Gindraux
Ruth Waldburger
Géraldine Sprimont, Anne-Laure Guégan
Need Productions, Brüssel


Germinal Roaux

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1975, this self-taught photographer and filmmaker works exclusively in black-and-white. As a photo journalist he has been contributing to various magazines since 1996 and he made his first documentary film Des tas de choses in 2003. His debut feature Left Foot Right Foot won numerous prizes including the Swiss Film Award in three categories. He received the Filmmaker Award at the 2016 Zurich Film Festival for Fortuna.


2003 Des tas de choses 2007 Icebergs; short film 2013 Left Foot Right Foot 2018 Fortuna

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018

Produced by

Vega Production

World sales

Loco Films