French trio nominated
by Fabien Lemercier
01/02/2006 - Enormous satisfaction for French production which has three majority productions on the list of nominees for the 2006 Oscars with Merry Christmas [trailer, film focus] by Christian Carion in the category for Best Foreign film while March of the penguins [trailer] by Luc Jacquet and Darwin’s nightmare by Austrian Hubert Sauper are on course for the title of Best Documentary. Aces to which you have to add the minority French production Paradise Now [trailer] by Palestinian Hany Abu-Assad, nominated in the Oscar for Best Foreign film which was co-produced to the tune of 30% by Lumen Films and Arte France Cinéma (see news).
Produced by Nord-Ouest Production, Merry Christmas (read Focus dedicated to film) benefited from a co-production with German Senator (20%), and British Joyeux Noël Ltd (12 %), Belgian Artémis Productions(10 %) and Rumanian Mediapro Pictures (10 %). On its chances for an Oscar, Christian Carion told Cineuropa on the release in France of Merry Christmas : "I hope we can go all the way. I'm interested in showing the film in the States because it’s a country at war. But more than just for my ego, it would allow the film an even better career. My motivation was, in a way, to avenge the soldiers, so the more the film spreads throughout the world, the happier I will be."
As for documentaries, the fairy-tale continues for March of the Penguins by Luc Jacquet, produced by Bonne Pioche, which became the most successful exported French feature ever (€58m in receipts and an audience of 16,2 million spectators abroad). As for Darwin’s Nightmare , its nomination rewards the work of the French producers at 1001 Productions (associated with Austrian Coop 99 and Belgian Saga Film) already rewarded for its exceptional theatrical career and title for best documentary at the European Film Awards. Note too that Merry Christmas and Darwin’s Nightmare had pre-production Advance on Receipts from the National Film Centre (CNC ).
Finally, French international sales agents are also rejoicing since Celluloïd Dreams has two nominees from its line-up (Paradise Now and Darwin’s Nightmare ), Films Distribution bets on Merry Christmas ël, Wild Bunch on March of the Penguins and TF1 International on Don't Tell [trailer] by Cristiana Comencini.
(Translated from French)