ITS OFFICIAL, Marjane Satrapi’s animated film “Persepolis” co-directed with Vincent Paronnaud and produced by 2,4,7 Films that earned the Jury Prize at the 60th Annual Cannes International film festival this year will officially represent France at the upcoming Oscars in 2008. The CNC (CENTRE NATIONALE DE LA CINEMATOGRAPHIE) the commision whose members are named by France’s Minister of Culture and Communication announced Monday the choice of Satrapi’s film to represent France at the upcoming Oscars in Hollywood next year.
The criteria of selection for a film at the Oscars is as follows:
1)The film should be released between the 1st of October 2006 and the 30th of September 2007.
2)The Artistic control of the film should belong to nationals ( hereby French) representing the film.
The name and status ( in French) of the Seven Members of the French Commission in charge of the 2008 Oscars are:
Frédéric BRILLION (Président de la Commission d’agrément)
Claude DURAND (Président de la Commission d’avance sur recettes)
Thierry FREMAUX (Délégué général du Festival de Cannes)
Margaret MENEGOZ (Présidente d’Unifrance Film international)
Alain TERZIAN (Président de l’Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma)
Marc TESSIER (Président de la Commission d’aide sélective à la distribution)
Laurent VALLET (Président de la Commission d’aide à la promotion du cinéma français à l’étranger)
“Persepolis” is due in US Theaters in December and no less than 40 countries are distributing it. It is already that will be announcing its Awardees on Dec 1st. Other Contenders to the Oscar Statuette were Pascale Ferran’s “Lady Chatterley” and Olivier Dahan’s “La Mome” which tells the story of French Diva Edith Piaf, both of which have had Box Office and critical acclaim as Persepolis in France.
However the CNC’s final choice was set on Satrapi’s animated film about the childhood experiences of an outspoken Iranian girl growing up in fundementalist Iran in the aftermath of Islamic Revolution of 1979 and following her life in exile in the West (Austria and France). Persepolis has drawn a Million Viewers in France rating it at the Top of the French Summer Box Office Hits. It also triggered controversy and protest from Iranian authorities who unjustly deemed the film as Islamophobic and anti-revolutionary.
It should be added that French actress Marion Cotillard, 31 years old, is also considered to run in the Best actress category given the success of the film overseas but that is still subject to deliberation by the Commission.
With 34 nominations, France heads the number of nominations for an Oscar in foreign film category. However the last time a French film was awarded was with Régis Wargnier’s Indochine (also starring Catherine Deneuve) in 1993. As for French actress’ who won the Gold Statue they were Simone Signoret (1960) for Room on the Top and Juliette Binoche (1996) Best Actress in a Supporting Role in The English Patient.
The submission of “Persepolis” still has meet the approval of The US Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts and the entire selection will only be announced definitively in early January 2008.