France has selected Robin Campillo’s BPM (120 Battements Par Minute) as its submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race. The selection committee had whittled the final shortlist down to three titles and today announced that the AIDS-activist drama would be the entry. The “ambitious, engaged” film won the Grand Prize in Cannes.

Morocco-born French filmmaker Campillo scored that win with his first appearance in the Cannes competition as director. He wrote and edited Laurent Cantet’s 2008 Palme d’Or winner The Class. Campillo was a Deadline One to Watch in Cannes this year with BPM, a film that was the most buzzed-about among French titles.

BPM’s story is set in the early 1990s, as Act-Up Paris multiplies its efforts to fight general indifference despite the fact that AIDS already has ravaged lives for nearly a decade. Nathan (Arnaud Valois), a newcomer to the group, finds his world shaken by radical militant Sean (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart). Antoine Reinartz, Adèle Haenel, Ariel Borenstein and Aloïse Sauvage also star.`

The CNC today praised “the remarkable interpretation of a new generation of actors who bowled over festival-goers around the world from Cannes to Toronto. … Campillo offers up an exceptional film on a cruelly universal subject.”

Campillo’s directing credits also include 2004’s Les Revenants (They Came Back), which sold in all major territories and later became the source material for Canal Plus’ Emmy-winning TV adaptation Les Revenants. He followed that with Eastern Boys (2013), which won Best Film in Venice’s Horizons section, and was nominated for Best Film and Best Director César Awards.

Films Distribution (now Playtime) handled sales on those and BPM. Memento released the latter locally on August 23, selling more than 600K tickets to date. BPM is produced by Les Films de Pierre. The Orchard has U.S. rights, with a release planned for October 20.

France has been nominated numerous times for the FL Oscar, most recently with 2015’s Mustang. But the Hexagon hasn’t taken the prize since 1992’s Indochine. BPM is a real contender for the shortlist this year, but so was last year’s Elle which was shockingly omitted. The other films France had pre-selected this year were Mathieu Amalric’s Barbara and Michel Hazanavicius’ Le Redoutable.

Here’s the running list of FL Oscar entries so far:

2017 Foreign Language Film Oscar Submissions

  • AustriaHappy End – Michael Haneke
  • AzerbaijanPomegranate Orchard – Ilgar Najaf
  • BelgiumRacer And The Jailbird (Le Fidèle) – Michaël R Roskam
  • Bosnia and HerzegovinaMen Don’t Cry – Alena Drljevića
  • BrazilBingo: King Of The Mornings (Le Fidèle) – Daniel Rezende
  • BulgariaGlory (Le Fidèle) – Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov
  • CambodiaFirst They Killed My Father – Angelina Jolie
  • ChileA Fantastic Woman – Sebastian Lelio
  • ColombiaGuilty Men – Iván Gaona
  • CroatiaQuit Staring At My Plate – Hana Jušić
  • Czech RepublicIce Mother – Bohdan Sláma
  • Dominican RepublicWoodpeckers – José Maria Cabral
  • EgyptSheikh Jackson – Amr Salama
  • EstoniaNovember – Rainer Sarnet
  • FinlandTom Of Finland – Dome Karukoski
  • FranceBPM – Robin Campillo
  • GeorgiaScary Mother – Ana Urushadze
  • GermanyIn The Fade – Fatih Akin
  • GreeceAmerika Square – Yannis Sakardis
  • HungaryOn Body And Soul – Ildikó Enyedi
  • IraqThe Dark Wind – Hussein Hussan
  • IrelandSong Of Granite – Pat Collins
  • JapanHer Love Boils Bathwater – Ryota Nakano
  • KosovoUnwanted – Edon Rizvanolli
  • LatviaThe Chronicles Of Melanie – Viestur Kairish
  • LebanonThe Insult – Ziad Doueiri
  • LithuaniaFrost – Sarunas Bartas
  • LuxembourgBarrage – Laura Schroeder
  • MexicoTempestad – Tatiana Huezo
  • MoroccoRazzia – Nabil Ayouch
  • NepalSeto Surya (White Sun) – Deepak Rauniyar
  • NetherlandsLalya M – Mijke de Jong
  • NorwayThelma – Joachim Trier
  • PakistanSaawan – Farhan Alam
  • PalestineWajib – Annemarie Jacir
  • PolandSpoor – Agnieszka Holland
  • PortugalSaint George – Marco Martins
  • RomaniaThe Fixer – Adrian Sitaru
  • SerbiaRequiem For Mrs J – Bojan Vuletić
  • South KoreaA Taxi Driver – Jang Hoon
  • SpainSummer 1993 – Carla Simon
  • SwedenThe Square – Ruben Östlund
  • SwitzerlandThe Divine Order – Petra Volpe
  • ThailandBy The Time It Gets Dark – Anocha Suwichakornpong
  • TurkeyAyla: The Daughter of War – Ca Ulkay
  • UkraineBlack Level – Valentyn Vasyanovych
  • UKMy Pure Land – Sarmad Masud
  • VenezuelaEl Inca – Ignacio Castillo Cottin
  • VietnamFather And Son – Lương Đình Dũng