“Antigone” will represent Canada in the race for Oscar gold.
Formerly known as Best Foreign-Language Film, “Antigone” has been submitted as the country’s entry in the newly renamed Best International Feature Film, following its world premiere at TIFF earlier this month.
Written and directed by Sophie Deraspe, the French-language feature is a modern adaptation of the Greek tragedy following the teenage Antigone (Nahéma Ricci) who helps her brother escape from prison. Defying authorities, Antigone rejects the law of man and follows her own sense of justice, dictated by love and loyalty.
“Bringing ‘Antigone’ to the Oscar race is not only a huge honour, it’s also a way for me to highlight the values of empathy, artistry and integrity, which Canadian films exemplify so well,” Deraspe says of the selection.
“We are extremely proud of the calibre and quality of the 16 films submitted to the Selection Committee this year, and equally proud to say that nine of them were directed or co-directed by women,” Christa Dickenson, executive director of Telefilm Canada says in a statement. “Our priority now is to celebrate and encourage the team behind Antigone as they begin the exciting race for the Best International Feature Film Oscar. This is a unique opportunity to showcase Canadian talent on the international stage, and we are delighted to be providing support as a frontline partner in this great adventure.”
Over 61 countries have submitted feature films for Oscar consideration thus far. Of the total submissions, a shortlist of entries is determined in December, of which five will be selected as official nominees for the Best International Feature Film award.
In the history of the Academy Awards, eight Canadian films have gone on to become official Oscar nominees. Denys Arcand’s “The Barbarian Invasions” is the only Canadian film to win the Oscar in the category.
Mexico’s “Roma” is the most recent film to nab the award.
“Antigone” will open in Toronto theatres on December 6 before expanding to other Canadian cities.