Telefilm Canada, which chairs the pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee, is proud to announce that the feature film Monsieur Lazhar, directed by Philippe Falardeau, has been submitted as Canada’s choice for consideration as a possible nominee in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 84thAcademy Awards, to be held in Hollywood on February 26, 2012.
This honour is only the latest of the awards the film has recently won. In August, at the 64th Locarno International Film Festival, Monsieur Lazhar picked up the Variety Piazza Grande Award, given in recognition of a work’s artistic qualities and commercial viability, as well as the UBS Audience Award. After winning over movie-goers in Switzerland, the movie did the same at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian Feature Film.
“Philippe Falardeau has enthralled audiences and critics alike with an outstandingly crafted film that deals with touching themes. Being in the Oscar race is a well-deserved honour for Monsieur Lazhar,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “The Oscar ceremony is an incredible springboard for both the movie and its country’s film industry.”
“My film never ceases to amaze me; since Locarno it has taken on a life of its own,” said Philippe Falardeau when Telefilm called him with the good news. “It’s a proud moment when your movie is chosen to represent Canada from among all the high-quality productions that were in the running for this honour.”
Monsieur Lazhar was funded by the Canada Feature Film Fund. The film was produced by Luc Déry and Kim McCraw of micro_scope (the producers of Incendies) and is distributed by Les Films Christal. Monsieur Lazhar opens in Quebec theatres on October 28, 2011.
Telefilm Canada coordinates and chairs the pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee, which comprises 24 voting members representing major national film industry associations and government agencies. This year, Monsieur Lazhar was selected from among 34 eligible films. The nominations for the 84th Academy Awards will be announced on January 24, 2012.
Sixty-five countries will submit their top film for consideration as a possible Best Foreign Language Film nominee to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Only one film per country is accepted, and the selected film must have been produced outside the United States and be primarily in a language other than English. The Academy then votes to choose a shortlist of five films to be nominated in the category.
In the history of the Oscars, five Canadian films have made the shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film category: Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, which was Canada’s Oscar pick last year; Deepa Mehta’s Water, nominated in 2006; and three films by Denys – Le Déclin de l’empire américain (The Decline of the American Empire) in 1986, Jésus de Montréal (Jesus of Montreal) in 1989, and Les Invasions barbares (The Barbarian Invasions), which won the coveted award for 2003.
Canadian Selection Committee – 84th Annual Academy Awards
Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT)
Alberta Media Production Association (AMPIA)
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
Alliance québécoise des techniciens de l’image et du son (AQTIS)
Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec (APFTQ)
Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma (AQCC)
Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ)
British Columbia Film
Canada Council for the Arts
Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA)
Directors Guild of Canada
Film Nova Scotia
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Manitoba Film and Music
National Film Board of Canada
New Brunswick Film
Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation
Ontario Media Development Corporation
SaskFilm and Video Development Corporation
Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)
Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma du Québec (SARTEC)
Telefilm Canada (Chair)
Union des artistes
Yukon Film & Sound Commission