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France’s national cinema body, the CNC, picked Alice Diop’s Saint Omer, One Fine Morning by Mia Hansen-Løve, the Éric Gravel-directed Full Time, Alice Winocour’s Paris Memories, and The Worst Ones, by directors Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret.
A commission will meet on Sept. 23 with the producers, international sales agents and, where applicable, the U.S. distributor of the five shortlisted films to decide which title has the best chances of Oscar glory. After the meetings, the commission will make its final Oscar selection.
France completely overhauled its selection process this year after an exceptionally long Oscar drought. Of the last 10 French international Oscar submissions, only four made the final shortlist, and just two — Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang in 2015 and Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables in 2019 — received Oscar nominations. France has not won an Oscar for best international film since Régis Wargnier’s Indochine in 1993.
Last year’s France’s selection committee picked Julia Ducournau’s divisive, controversial Titane, which did not get an Oscar nomination, over Audrey Diwan’s Happening, a more mainstream drama about abortion in 1960s France, which many felt would have had better chances with Academy voters.
Under the new system introduced this summer, France’s culture minister will each year name a separate group of seven film professionals, including two filmmakers, two producers, two sales agents and another film industry figure, to pick a shortlist of candidates.
Only feature films with a planned release in France between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30 of this year, in a majority language other than English (though not necessarily in French) whose artistic team is majority French, were eligible. The CNC said it received 33 applications.
The 95th Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on March 12, 2023.
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