France has shortlisted four films for the Foreign Language Oscar race with the official entry to be determined later this month. The selection committee will be voting on two films that Music Box has Stateside: Anne Fontaine’s Sundance pic Agnus Dei which was released as The Innocents and has grossed about $1M to date; and François Ozon’s Frantz which just debuted in Venice and won the Best New Actress prize for Paula Beer. Also on the list is Paul Verhoeven’s lauded Elle starring Isabelle Huppert. Sony Pictures Classics picked it up during the Cannes Film Festival where the drama was in competition. It releases in the U.S. on November 11. Finally, Danièle Thompson’s Cézanne Et Moi is a study of the friendship between painter Paul Cézanne and novelist Emile Zola. Magnolia acquired North American rights earlier this month. Ozon and Thompson have previously repped France with the latter making the shortlist for 2006’s Avenue Montaigne. The committee this year is made up of Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux, César academy president Alain Terzian, Unifrance president Jean-Paul Salomé; CNC exec Teresa Cremisi; actresses Sandrine Bonnaire and Léa Seydoux; and director Eric Tolédano.
BAFTA Los Angeles will honor Felicity Jones with the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year at its British Academy Britannia Awards on October 28. The honor goes to a British artist whose outstanding performances in a year have demonstrated the high quality of their craftsmanship. Jones scored Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her role in 2014’s The Theory Of Everything. In 2016, her roster of high-profile roles includes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Inferno and A Monster Calls. Jones first came to the attention of American audiences in Drake Doremus’ 2011 romantic drama Like Crazy and won a Special Jury Award for Acting at Sundance followed by wins at the Gotham Independent Film Awards and the National Board of Review. Her other feature credits include Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman; Doremus’ Breathe In; The Amazing Spider-Man 2; The Tempest; Cemetery Junction; and Brideshead Revisited. She has also starred in a number of TV and stage productions. Jones joins previously announced 2016 Britannia honorees Ang Lee, Samuel L Jackson, Ricky Gervais and Ewan McGregor.
Under a new draft of the BBC’s Royal Charter which is due to go into effect next year, the broadcaster will have to name all employees and hosts who earn more than £150K ($198K) per year. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has said that the move will bring the BBC “in line with the civil service” on transparency and help ensure the BBC “produces value for money for the license fee.” Transparency could lead to savings which could be “invested in even more great programs,” BBC News reports. The broadcaster has said releasing stars’ salaries would constrain its ability to attract and retain top talent. Director-General Tony Hall today said, “Our position on talent pay has not changed and all major broadcasters have questioned the merit of the proposal. The BBC is already incredibly transparent and we publish what we spend on talent pay — a bill which has fallen in recent years. The BBC operates in a competitive market and this will not make it easier for the BBC to retain the talent the public love.” BBC One recently lost out on keeping smash hit The Great British Bake Off which will move to Channel 4, and also saw The Voice UK defect to ITV.
Ahead of next month’s Mipcom, Sonar Entertainment has expanded its global sales team as part of an aggressive distribution and content growth strategy. Carol Eymery, who most recently served as SVP, International Distribution for Lionsgate International, has been named Sonar’s EVP, International Distribution Europe, Middle East & Africa and will be based in London. Kylie Munnich joins Sonar as SVP, Australasia. She was most recently Director, Drama & Comedy for Sky Vision and will be based in Sydney. Andres Santos has been named VP, International Distribution, Latin America, Brazil and Hispanic North America. Joining from Televisa, he is based in Miami. Roberta Ibba-Hartog has joined Sonar as SVP, International Distribution, EMEA from Lionsgate UK and will remain based in London. Sonar’s Mipcom slate includes FX and BBC One’s Tom Hardy-starrer Taboo; The Son, starring Pierce Brosnan for AMC; and The Shannara Chronicles,