France’s Oscar selection committee has shortlisted three titles as the country’s potential submission for the International Feature Oscar race. They include Audrey Diwan’s Venice Golden Lion winner L’Evénement (Happening), Julia Ducournau’s Cannes Palme d’Or laureate Titane and Cédric Jiminez’s Bac Nord (The Stronghold) which ran out of competition on the Riviera in July.
The two major prizewinners, Happening and Titane, were expected to figure among the group which will now be whittled down with the official entry announced on October 12.
Titane was released locally by Diaphana Distribution in July after making history as only the second film directed by a woman to win the top Cannes honor. Neon has domestic. The story follows a series of unexplained crimes; a father is reunited with the son who has been missing for 10 years. In its logline, it is also billed as “Titane : A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys.”
Happening, which IFC has in the U.S., will go out via Wild Bunch in France in November. The 1963-set abortion drama is based on the book by Annie Ernaux and centers on a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. But when she becomes pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. With her final exams fast approaching and her belly growing, she resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, even if she must risk prison to do so. French-Lebanese filmmaker Diwan is the sixth female director to win the Venice Film Festival’s top Lion.
From Studiocanal, Bac Nord released in France in August and has been a critical and box office success with nearly 2M tickets sold. Netflix acquired worldwide rights outside of France during Cannes. The story is set in Marseille’s north suburbs where the police brigade is under pressure to improve their arrest and drug seizure stats. When assigned a high-profile operation, the team engages in a mission where moral and professional boundaries are pushed to their breaking point.
The deliberation commission this year includes filmmakers Julie Delpy and Florent Zeller; producers Iris Knobloch and Alain Goldman; sales agents Emilie Georges and Grégory Chambet; and longtime members Thierry Frémaux (general delegate of the Cannes Film Festival), Serge Toubiana (President of Unifrance) and Elisabeth Tanner (representative of the César academy).