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Telefilm Announces Canada’s Oscar Pick for 2011

Denis Villeneuve’s INCENDIES submitted as Canada’s representative for nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category

Montréal, Quebec, September 22, 2010 – Telefilm Canada is proud to announce that the feature film Incendies, written and directed by Denis Villeneuve, has been submitted for nomination as Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, to be held in Hollywood on February 27, 2011.

“I’m rather proud that Incendies was chosen to represent Canada at this year’s Oscars, because this has been an excellent year for our cinema, what with  Denis Côté, Xavier Dolan, Louis Bélanger, Robin Aubert, Catherine Martin, Robert Morin, Patrick Demers, Podz (and I’m forgetting a few others…), all of whom released very strong films. The competition was intense,” said Denis Villeneuve when Telefilm told him the good news.

Garnering great acclaim at both the Venice Mostra and Telluride, winner of the Best Canadian Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and now heading to Pusan, Incendies has enjoyed an impressive run on the film festival circuit. Entertainment One, which has been involved with this project from its early stages, is the national distributor and holds the international distribution rights. Earlier this month, eOne reached an agreement with Sony Pictures Classics for the film’s distribution rights in the United States. The film will also be distributed in the following markets: France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Israel and the Middle East.

Produced by Luc Déry and Kim McCraw of micro_scope, Incendies was adapted from the stage play by Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad. Twins Jeanne and Simon are stunned by their mother’s last wishes – to hand deliver letters to the father they thought dead and to the brother they never knew existed. In carrying out this final request, they piece together their mother’s story defined by hatred and war.

The film was financed through Telefilm’s Canada Feature Film Fund. A Canada-France coproduction, the film was produced by micro_scope (Montréal) in association with the PHI Group (Montréal) and TS Productions (Paris).  

“One cannot help but be moved by the depth of the subject matter and the cinematic excellence of Incendies. Denis Villeneuve’s track record makes him one of the leading filmmakers in Canada. We salute his talent and wish the film the international exposure it deserves,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada.

“Through this outstanding work,” added Sheila de La Varende, Telefilm Canada’s Director of National and International Business Development, “the team behind Incendies has demonstrated a masterful ability to overcome several challenges: adapting a brilliant stage play for the screen, overcoming issues associated with shooting in a foreign country, through an international partnership, casting the perfect actors.”

Selection process for the category of Best Foreign Language Film

Telefilm Canada chairs the pan-Canadian selection committee, which comprises 25 voting members representing major film industry associations and government agencies. This year, Incendies was selected from among 26 eligible films. The nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards will be announced on January 25, 2011.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited over 90 countries to submit their top film for consideration as a possible Best Foreign Language Film nominee. Only one film per country is accepted. The Academy will then vote to choose the five films to be nominated for this category.

Last year, I Killed My Mother (J’ai tué ma mère) by director Xavier Dolan was Canada’s Oscar pick, but the film was not subsequently selected as one of the official nominees. Over the years, four Canadian films have been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Deepa Mehta’s Water was nominated in 2006, and three films by Denys Arcand have been so honoured: Le Déclin de l'empire américain (The Decline of the American Empire) in 1986, Jésus de Montréal (Jesus of Montreal) in 1989, and Les Invasions barbares (The Barbarian Invasions), which won the coveted award for 2003.

Canadian Selection Committee – 83rd Annual Academy Awards

Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television
Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association 
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) 
Alliance québécoise des techniciens de l'image et du son (AQTIS) 
Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec (APFTQ) 
Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ) 
Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma 
British Columbia Film 
Canada Council for the Arts 
Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA)
Directors Guild of Canada 
Film Nova Scotia 
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Manitoba Film & Sound 
National Film Board of Canada 
New Brunswick Film 
Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation 
Ontario Media Development Corporation 
SaskFilm and Video Development Corporation
Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) 
Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma du Québec (SARTEC) 
Technology PEI 
Telefilm Canada (Chair) 
Union des artistes 
Yukon Film & Sound Commission

About Telefilm Canada
Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to developing and promoting the Canadian audiovisual industry. Telefilm provides financial support to the private sector to create distinctively Canadian productions that appeal to domestic and international audiences. Telefilm also administers the Canada Media Fund’s programs. Visit


For more information:
Élise Proulx
Telefilm Canada
514-283-0838 or 1-800-567-0890, ext. 2090