Oscars: France Selects 'Mustang' as Foreign-Language Submission


Deniz Gamze Erguven’s drama, which took Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight Europa Cinemas award, follows five Turkish sisters who have their basic freedoms stripped from them as they become women.

France has selected Mustang as its submission for the Oscars' best foreign-language film. 

Deniz Gamze Erguven’s drama, which took Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight Europa Cinemas award, follows five Turkish sisters who have their basic freedoms stripped from them as they become women.

Cannes’ Palme d’Or winner Dheepan, directed by Jacques Audiard, and Stephane Brize’s The Measure of a Man (La Loi de Marche), which took home the Cannes best actor prize for Vincent Lindon, had been considered frontrunners for the selection.

Dheepan follows a former soldier, a young woman and a little girl who pose as a family to escape the civil war in Sri Lanka. 

In The Measure of a Man, Lindon plays an unemployed man who starts a new job that soon sees him facing a moral dilemma.

Other shortlisted films were Catherine Corsini’s Summertime (La Belle Saison), a lesbian love drama set against feminist activism in the 1970s starring Cecile de France and Izia Higelin, and Marguerite, Xavier Giannoli’s tale of a wealthy society woman with misguided opera aspirations, starring Catherine Frot.

The decision was made by a selection committee composed of Cannes’ artistic director Thierry Fremaux, Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), film body UniFrance's president Jean-Paul Salome, French Academy president Alain Terzian, outgoing Cinematheque Francaise director Serge Toubaina and actresses Nathalie Baye (Laurence Anyways) and Melanie Laurent (By the Sea).

Last year's French submission Saint Laurent was not nominated for an Oscar. French-language and Paris-set Amour, which won the best foreign-language trophy in 2013 and received four other nominations, was actually a submission from director Michael Haneke's native Austria.

2011's The Artist, which won five Oscars, including the best picture award, also was not France's submission that year. That honor went to Valerie Donzelli's Declaration of War, which failed to be nominated.

The last French film to win the foreign-language Oscar was 1993's Indochine, starring Catherine Deneuve.