Telefilm Canada Opens Call for Canada's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Submission

Les êtres chers.
Photo by Yannick Grandmont, courtesy of Les Films Séville
The race is on! Telefilm Canada invites producers to submit their films for consideration as Canada’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film in the upcoming Academy Awards race.  The candidate is ultimately chosen by the Pan-Canadian committee, which is coordinated and chaired by Telefilm Canada and comprises of 20-ish members of the Canadian film industry. Telefilm does not have a vote in the submission.

The films submitted must have been produced outside the United States in a language other than English and released commercially in theatres for at least seven consecutive days in Canada between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. Canada’s previous submissions of Felix and Meira (2015), Mommy (2014), and Gabrielle (2013) were all worthy but ultimately failed to make the crucial December shortlist, while we had three consecutive nominees in Incendies (2010), Monsieur Lazhar (2011), and War Witch (2012). The Oscar race is arguably the most high-profile opportunity for Canadian films to receive exposure with the awards broadcast traditionally bringing in approximately 100 million viewers worldwide according to The Hollywood Reporter in 2015.

This year’s race to be Canada’s Oscar bid is wide open. The likely frontrunner is still Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World given its prestigious (and much derided)  Grand Prix win at Cannes. Given the film’s critical sad trombone, it needs to hit with the North American audience to be a viable submission. Other contenders include Monsieur Lazhar director Philippe Falardeau’s My Internship in Canada, Philippe Lesage’s critical hit The Demons, Denis Côté’s Boris Sans Beatrice, animated box-office hit La Guerre Des Toques 3D, André Turpin’s Endorphine, and my personal favourite so far, Anne Émond’s Les êtres chers.

The submission will be announced by Oct. 1, 2016. Stay tuned for the annual preview of additional contenders on the festival circuit prior to TIFF! (I seem to have some catching up to do, too!)

Please visit www.telefilm.ca for more information.