France’s new Oscar committee has pre-selected five films to represent the country in the international feature film race.
The five films are Alice Diop’s “Saint-Omer,” which just won Venice’s Silver Lion and Lion of the Future; Eric Gravel’s drama “Full Time” starring “Call My Agent!” star Laure Calamy; Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret’s “The Worst Ones;” Alice Winocour’s “Revoir Paris;” and Mia Hansen-Love’s “One Fine Morning” starring Lea Seydoux.
This year’s committee includes international sales agents Hengameh Panahi, Grégoire Melin, producers Philippe Rousselet (“Coda”), Didar Domehri (“Girls of the Sun”), and directors Jacques Audiard (“A Prophet”) and Michel Gondry (“L’ecûme des jours”), along with Gaumont executive Ariane Toscan du Plantier.
As part of the recent overhaul of the Oscar committee, permanent members such as Cannes Film Festival’s general delegate Thierry Fremaux, Cesar Académie president Veronique Cayla and Unifrance boss Serge Toubiana are no longer part of the committee.
The commission will meet again on Sept. 23 to audition the producer, sales agent and/or the U.S. distributor of each pre-selected film.
The selection process has also changed since producers or sales agents must submit films for consideration by Sept. 1. As many as 33 films were submitted this year. All movies must be released in theaters between Jan. 1 to Nov. 30 in another language than English. It doesn’t have to be shot in French, but the artistic crew has to be mainly French.
Netflix movies aren’t eligible for consideration by France’s Oscar committee because they are not being released theatrically due to the country’s windowing rules. As such, Romain Gavras’s “Athena,” a highlight of this year’s Venice Film Festival, was not submitted. “Athena,” which is set in an imaginary suburb devastated by civic unrest, marked Netflix’s first French film competing at a major festival.
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