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France has selected Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute as its submission in the best foreign-language film category of the Oscars.
The film won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
The selection committee was chaired by National Cinema Center (CNC) head Frederique Bredin and composed of executives including Cannes Film Festival head Thierry Fremaux, French Academy president Alain Terzian, UniFrance film body head Serge Toubiana and former head Jean-Paul Salome, as well as CNC financing commissioner Teresa Cremisi.
BAFTA- and Cesar-nominated director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel) and Cesar winner Deniz Gamze Erguven, director of the Oscar-nominated Mustang, rounded out the committee.
The commission selected from a shortlist including 120 Beats Per Minute, Mathieu Amalric’s Cannes Un Certain Regard special prize winner Barbara and Redoubtable from Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist). Films had to have a theatrical release in France between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017 to be eligible for consideration.
Last year, France selected Elle, which failed to make the foreign-language shortlist but earned star Isabelle Huppert her first Oscar nomination.
In 2015, France nominated Erguven’s Mustang for the foreign-language category, but Laszlo Nemes’ Hungarian Holocaust drama Son of Saul took home the prize.
Hazanavicius’ The Artist, which won five Oscars, including for best picture in 2011, was not France’s foreign-language submission that year. The last French film to win the foreign-language Oscar was Indochine, starring Catherine Deneuve, in 1993.
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