The French Film Board, the CNC, on Friday unveiled the first seven-member board that will pick France’s official contender for the 2023 best international feature Oscar.
Acclaimed French directors Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bone, A Prophet) will sit on the committee, together with CODA producer Philippe Rousselet, Godland producer Didar Domehri, film sales executives Hengameh Panahi, president of French sales group Celluloid Dreams, Kinology president Grégoire Melin and Ariane Toscan du Plantier, director of French and international distribution at French media group Gaumont.
The seven-person board will meet twice — on Sept. 15 where they will pre-select a shortlist of three to five French films for consideration for the 2023 Oscars — and on Sept. 22 when they will meet with the producers and sales companies representing the shortlist films before making their final pick.
The president of the CNC and the president of French cinema promotion group Unifrance will take part in the meetings as observers but will not have voting rights.
France’s submission for the 2023 Oscars has to be sent to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences before Oct. 3.
Only French productions — films where the majority of the artistic team is French —shot mainly in a language other than English (though not necessarily in French) which have been released between Jan. 1-Nov. 30, 2022 will be considered.
Earlier this week, the French culture minister Rima Abdul-Malak issued a decree overhauling the
France’s Oscar selection committee, which has been criticized for being out of sync with Academy voters.
Last year, the selection committee picked Julia Ducournau’s controversial and divisive Palme d’Or winner Titane to represent France ahead of Audrey Diwan’s abortion drama Happening, a film many thought would have had a better chance at the Oscars. Titane did not make the Oscars shortlist.
In fact, of the last 10 French international Oscar submissions, only four made the final shortlist, and just two — Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang in 2015 and Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables in 2019 — received Oscar nominations. Neither won. France has not won an Oscar for best international film since Régis Wargnier’s Indochine in 1993.