MONTREAL, Sept. 25, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Telefilm Canada, which chairs the pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee, is pleased to announce that the feature film Félix et Meira, directed by Maxime Giroux, has been selected to represent Canada for consideration as a possible nominee in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards, to be held in Hollywood on February 28, 2016.
"Félix et Meira, a love story about two people from vastly different worlds, has moved Canadian and international audiences," said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. "Screened at more than 50 festivals around the world, this story with universal themes has also picked up many awards. It's now in the running for an Oscar nomination, and on behalf of Telefilm Canada, I wish the film's talented crew the best of luck."
"When we started working on Félix et Meira in 2011, we never imagined that the movie would be so successful once it was finished," said director Maxime Giroux. "The process to secure funding for the project was particularly difficult, but we never questioned the potential of this unique film. And we were right to think that way: not only has the movie won close to 20 film festival prizes, it's also been sold to some 15 territories internationally and was a hit with Canadian audiences when it was released in theatres in the winter of 2015. Today, we have the honour of representing Canada in the competition for the Best Foreign Language Film nomination. We would like to thank all of the funding partners who supported the film, and especially Telefilm Canada, which believed in this project from the very start. Obviously, the movie would never have seen the light of day without the total dedication and hard work of its actors and crew. Today's excellent news is thanks to them, first and foremost. Wow!"
Félix et Meira
Since its premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the prestigious award for Best Canadian Feature Film, Félix et Meira has moved audiences everywhere. The third feature by director Maxime Giroux (Jo pour Jonathan, Demain), Félix et Meira tells of the improbable love affair between Félix, a Francophone Quebecer, and Meira, a young Hasidic Jewish mother.
Movie critics also praised the film's sensitive depiction of the still little-known Hasidic community, a portrayal that owed much to the research undertaken by the director and his co-writer, Alexandre Laferrière. Indeed, the film, in addition to its nine other awards, won the Tobias Szpancer Award for Best Film—Between Judaism and Israelism Competition at the 30th Haifa International Film Festival in Israel. The movie also took in some $500,000 at the U.S. box office.
Funded by Telefilm's Canada Feature Film Fund and produced by Nancy Grant and Sylvain Corbeil of Metafilms (Mommy, Juste la fin du monde), Félix et Meira stars Martin Dubreuil (L'affaire Dumont) as Félix and Hadas Yaron (Fill the Void) as Meira. Other cast members include Luzer Twersky, Anne-Élizabeth Bossé (Les Amours imaginaires), Benoît Girard and Josh Dolgin. The film's domestic distributor was FunFilm Distribution, while international sales were handled by Urban Distribution International.
Selection process for the Best Foreign Language Film category
Telefilm coordinates and chairs the pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee, which comprises 23 voting members from Canada's film industry who represent major Canadian government agencies and national film industry associations.
In 2014, a record 83 countries submitted a film for consideration as a possible nominee in the foreign language film category to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Only one film per country is accepted, and the selected film must have been produced outside the United States, be primarily in a language other than English, and have been shown in a movie theatre for at least seven consecutive days in its country of origin between October 1, 2014, and September 30, 2015. A shortlist of nine films will be announced at the end of December 2015, and on January 14, 2016, the Academy will vote to choose five films to be nominated in the category.
The Wanted 18 submitted by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
This multiple award-winning animated documentary feature tells the story of how residents of the West Bank town of Beit Sahour tried to start up their own dairy industry at the beginning of the first Intifada to end their dependence on milk supplied by Israel. The film was co-directed by the Oscar-nominated Canadian director Paul Cowan (Going the Distance) and by Palestinian director and visual artist Amer Shomali. The producers are Ina Fichman (Intuitive Pictures) and Nathalie Cloutier (NFB), and the executive producers are Saed Andoni (Dar Films), Dominique Barneaud (Bellota Films) and Colette Loumède (NFB). The film is distributed in the United States by Kino Lorber.
Canada and the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars
In the history of the Oscars, eight Canadian films have been nominated in the Foreign Language Film category: Kim Nguyen's Rebelle [War Witch], at the 2013 Oscars; Philippe Falardeau's Monsieur Lazhar and Agnieszka Holland's In Darkness (a minority co-production with Poland and Germany), in 2012; Denis Villeneuve's Incendies, in 2011; Deepa Mehta's Water, in 2007; and three films by Denys Arcand: Le Déclin de l'empire américain [The Decline of the American Empire] in 1987, Jésus de Montréal [Jesus of Montreal] in 1990, and Les Invasions barbares [The Barbarian Invasions], which won the coveted award in 2004.
Members of the pan-Canadian selection committee that chooses the Canadian film to be submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT)
Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA)
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
Alliance québécoise des techniciens de l'image et du son (AQTIS)
Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM)
Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma (AQCC)
Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ)
Canada Council for the Arts
Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA)
Directors Guild of Canada
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Manitoba Film and Music
National Film Board of Canada
New Brunswick—Tourism, Heritage and Culture
Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation
Nova Scotia Business
Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC)
Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)
Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma du Québec (SARTEC)
Union des artistes
Yukon Film & Sound Commission
About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.
Created in 1967, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada's audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund and the Talent Fund, a private donation initiative. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/telefilmcanada.
SOURCE Telefilm Canada
For further information: Media enquiries: Françoise Lapointe, Advisor, External Communications, Telefilm Canada, (514) 283-0838, ext. 2028 or 1-800-567-0890, [email protected]