Telefilm Canada, which chairs the pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee, is pleased to announce that the feature film Gabrielle, directed by Louise Archambault, has been selected to represent Canada for consideration as a possible nominee in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 86th Academy Awards, to be held in Hollywood on February 27, 2014.
“Over the last several years, Canada’s film industry has done our country proud, with three nominations for Best Foreign Language Film three years running,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “The selection committee certainly got it right these last three years, and we’re confident that we once again have a strong and very competitive candidate for the upcoming Oscar race. Gabrielle has won over audiences internationally, and there’s no question that the Academy members will succumb to its charms as well.”
“We are very pleased and sincerely honoured to represent Canada in the Oscar race. We hope to make it as far as possible with the film,” said Louise Archambault, Luc Déry and Kim McCraw when Telefilm announced the good news over the phone.
This past August, Gabrielle was warmly greeted by some 7,000 moviegoers at a screening at the celebrated Piazza Grande during the Locarno Film Festival. After winning the audience award (Prix du Public UBS) at Locarno, the film was shown at the Festival du film francophone d’Angoulême, where it won the Valois award for best actor as well as the Valois Magelis award from the student jury. Along nine filmmakers, director Louise Archambault was honoured at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) during the Birks Diamond Tribute to the Year’s Women in Film, in partnership with Telefilm Canada. Gabrielle is Louise Archambault’s second feature. Her first feature, Familia (2005), was in official competition at the Locarno Film Festival and also screened at TIFF.
Gabrielle was funded through the Telefilm’s Canada Feature Film Fund. Produced by Luc Déry and Kim McCraw of the production company micro_scope, the film is distributed by Les Films Christal (sub-distributed by Les Films Séville, subsidiary of Entertainment One). International sales are handled by Entertainment One Films International. As mentioned, this is the third time that a micro_scope film has been selected to represent Canada in the Oscar race. Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar was a foreign-language film nominee at the 84th Academy Awards and Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies was a nominee at the 83rd Academy Awards.
Telefilm coordinates and chairs the pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee, which comprises 22 voting members representing major government agencies and national film industry associations. In 2012, a record 71 countries submitted a film for consideration as a possible nominee in the Foreign Language Film category 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, be primarily in a language other than English, and have been shown in a movie theatre for at least seven consecutive days in its country of origin between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2013. A shortlist of nine films will be announced eventually, and on January 16, 2014, the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be revealed.
In the history of the Oscars, seven Canadian films have been nominated in the Foreign Language Film category:
- Kim Nguyen’s Rebelle (War Witch), at the 2013 Oscars
- Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar and Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness, in 2012
- Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, in 2011
- Deepa Mehta’s Water, in 2007
and three films by Denys Arcand:
- Le Déclin de l’empire américain (The Decline of the American Empire) in 1987
- Jésus de Montréal (Jesus of Montreal) in 1990
- Les Invasions barbares (The Barbarian Invasions), which won the coveted award in 2004
Canadian selection committee – 86th annual Academy Awards
- Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT)
- Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA)
- Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
- Alliance québécoise des techniciens de l’image et du son (AQTIS)
- Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM)
- Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma (AQCC)
- Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ)
- Canada Council for the Arts
- Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA)
- Creative BC
- Directors Guild of Canada
- Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development 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)
- Union des artistes
- Yukon Film & Sound Commission