Last year, the members of the commission responsible for selecting the French film candidate for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film – the general delegate of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Frémaux, the president of Unifrance Serge Toubiana and the president of the Academy by the Césars Véronique Cayla – had chosen to submit Titane by Julia Ducournau, very divisive Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2021, to the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. In front of him, L’Événement by Audrey Diwan, Golden Lion in Venice and very compatible with the affinities of the Academy, had been excluded from the race for the statuette. A decision that had generated a lot of misunderstanding on the part of the industry and raised potential conflicts of interest. Will this choice set a precedent? Yesterday, the American media Variety announced in its columns a reform of the selection of future films chosen to represent France at the Oscars. The new Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul-Malak, published a decree in the Official Journal to change the mode of appointment. The decree withdraws from the commission the ex officio members (Thierry Frémaux, Serge Toubiana and Véronique Cayla) who will henceforth be appointed by the Minister of Culture each year. The new commissions will include two exporters, two producers, two directors and an expert personality in the field of cinema. The president of the CNC and the president of Unifrance will attend the committee sessions as observers. 2023 will mark the thirtieth year that our country has not won in the international film category. The last French film to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film was Indochine by Régis Wargnier, in 1993, and over the past twelve years, only three films submitted by France have been selected to compete: Les Misérables by Ladj Ly, in 2020, Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, in 2016, and A Prophet by Jacques Audiard, in 2010. Will this reform allow France to increase its chances of winning the statuette? Response on March 12.
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