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Telefilm Canada congratulates the team of Oscar-nominated film War Witch
Canada nominated for a third straight year for Best Foreign Language Film
Canadians Yan England, Ariel Nasr and Mychael Danna also in the running for an Oscar
Montreal, January 10, 2013 — Thanks to Kim Nguyen’s War Witch (Rebelle), Canadian cinema has once again scored an Oscar nomination this year for Best Foreign Language Film. Impressively, this is the fourth time in three years that our cinema has received such an honour, following Incendies from Denis Villeneuve in 2011, Monsieur Lazhar from Philippe Falardeau and the coproduction In Darkness from Agnieszka Holland in 2012. Telefilm Canada warmly congratulates director Kim Nguyen, Pierre Even and Marie-Claude Poulin from the production company Item 7 as well as the entire film team.
As announced this morning at the Academy Awards news conference held in Los Angeles, Henry by Quebec filmmaker Yan England and Buzkashi Boys by producer and co-director Ariel Nasr, originally from Halifax, are nominated for Best Live Action Short Film. Canadian Mychael Danna is also in the running for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Life of Pi, a film based on the novel of Canadian Yann Martel, which won the Booker Prize and enjoyed worldwide success.The 85th Oscars ceremony will take place in Hollywood on February 24.
“These Oscar nominations clearly demonstrate that Canadian cinema, led by creative talent and dynamic companies, is an enormous cultural success,” said Carolle Brabant, Telefilm’s Executive Director. “It is a terrific showcase for War Witch, the other Canadian films and talent in contention as well as Canadian creativity as a whole. Telefilm is proud of its role in financing War Witch and in promoting it for the Oscars and throughout the world. I wish the very best of luck to all the Canadians who are in the running for an Oscar this year.”
Kim Nguyen, director of War Witch added: “This movie has been a truly amazing 10-year journey, and we are honored to be included in such an outstanding list of filmmakers from around the world. I will always remember when Rachel Mwanza, after being the first African woman to ever win the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlinale, returned home to the Congolese streets of Kinshasa and was greeted by passionate chants and overwhelming pride. So, in the case of War Witch, these recognitions do make a difference. They bring back pride to a nation that greatly needs it. I dearly thank the Academy members for supporting this film; it is a great privilege and an honour”
Yan England, director of Henry added: “I was so excited when I heard the news; I had tears in my eyes and then my legs went weak. It’s a dream come true and I will now see how I can make my film available so that as many people as possible can see it.”
In the history of the Oscars, seven Canadian productions have been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film: Monsieur Lazhar,by Philippe Falardeau and the Canadian minority coproduction (Poland-Germany) In Darkness, by Agnieszka Holland, in 2012; Incendies, by Denis Villeneuve, in 2011; Water, by Deepa Mehta, in 2006; and three films by Denys Arcand, Le Déclin de l'empire américain, in 1986, Jésus de Montréal, in 1989, and Les Invasions barbares, which won the coveted award in 2003.
War Witch was chosen to represent Canada at the Oscars by a country-wide selection committee chaired by Telefilm and composed of 22 voting members from key government agencies and industry associations.
Exceptional international career
This is the fourth feature film from Kim Nguyen whose résumé includes Le Marais (2002), Truffe (2008) and La Cité (2009). Shot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, War Witch is a film full of magic, violence and beauty about a child-soldier who is also a survivor. Funded by the Canada Feature Film Fund, this film was written and directed by Kim Nugyen. It was coproduced by Kim Nugyen as well as by Pierre Even and Marie-Claude Poulin from Item 7. It is distributed in Canada by Métropole Films Distribution.
War Witch has already received nine awards and mentions on the international scene, including two prizes at the 2012 Berlinale: the Silver Bear for Best Actress was given to the lead, Rachel Mwanza, then aged 15, and the film also took home a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury.
In addition, War Witch has taken home awards for Best Film and Best Actress at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival and received several awards at the Thüringen Festival, in Germany, including the Young Jury Prize. It has been sold in over 25 countries.
About Telefilm Canada
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 administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Visit www.telefilm.gc.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/telefilmcanada.
Douglas Chow, Manager, External Communications
514 283-0838, ext. 2225 or 1-800-567-0890