A coming-of-age tale, “Fortuna” follows 14-year-old Ethiopian girl Fortuna (Kidist Siyum), who has had no news of her parents since she crossed the Mediterranean Sea and together with other refugees, is given shelter for the winter in a Swiss Catholic monastery where she falls in love with a young man. While she waits for her fate to be decided by the Swiss authorities, Fortuna finds out she is pregnant. The choice she will have make will give great concern within the religious community and will challenge their concept of Christian charity.
“Fortuna” marks Rouaux’s sophomore outing, following “Left Foot Right Foot,” which won awards at Palm Springs and Namur. Roaux said he wrote the film based on testimonies with young migrants who didn’t have their parents around, as well as religious leaders and educators. “I tried to understand where their suffering came from and the dilemma that our society is facing in dealing with this refugee crisis,” said Roaux.
The film is produced by Switzerland’s Vega Films and Belgium’s Need Prods.
Speaking to Variety, Ganz said he was drawn to the project for “the different ideas of belief and conviction” that it carries.
Ganz, who plays a priest of deep Christian convictions, said he was also interested in taking the part because he “wanted to find out how that would go together with my personal doubts.” The actor recently worked on Lars von Trier’s “The House That Jack Built” in which he stars alongside Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman.