France has selected Les Misérables, directed by Ladj Ly, as their submission for the International Feature Film Oscar. It won the Jury Prize at Cannes, and was selected for submission over two other shortlisted films: Portrait of a Lady on Fire, directed by Céline Sciamma, and Proxima, directed by Alice Winocour. Portrait had also won awards at Cannes, including Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm, while Proxima had received an honorable mention after its premiere at TIFF.
Ladj Ly’s Cannes Prize-Winner ‘Les Miserables’ Is France’s Oscar Submission https://t.co/FkknaZbH0G— Variety (@Variety) September 20, 2019
Les Misérables is inspired by the 2005 French riots, examining the tensions between residents and the police, and based on the short film of the same name, also directed by Ly. Amazon has bought the rights for US distribition.
The shortlist for International Feature Film will be released in mid-December, with the nominations announced in January.
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What a killer year for French cinema! Disappointed for Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Proxima, but happy that France nominated its first film from a black director.