Attenberg to enter Oscar race for Greece
After being picked as the Hellenic Fim Academy’s suggestion for the upcoming Oscars last May (see news), Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg [+see also:
interview: Athina Rachel Tsangari
film profile] was officially selected yesterday by the Greek Ministry of Culture as the country’s submission for the Foreign Language category of the coveted awards.
The decision was made by a seven-member committee, assembled specifically to evaluate eligible films and select the title to be proposed to the Minister of Culture, Pavlos Geroulanos, for final approval. Current Thessaloniki International Film Festival director Dimitri Eipides and HFA president Tassos Boulmetis were members of the committee, headed by previous TIFF director Michel Dimopoulos.
Dimopoulos had also presided over the international competition jury of the Thessaloniki IFF of 2010, where Attenberg was awarded the Silver Alexander, a feat Tsangari called “the toughest prize to win” when talking to Cineuropa (see news), referring to the disadvantage of having Dimopoulos abstain from voting for Attenberg, due to his cameo appearance in the film.
A finalist for the European Parliament’s LUX Prize, Attenberg was also selected by the HFA as the country’s best hope for the Oscars, even thought the Academy’s Best Film of the Year winner was Yiannis Economide’s Knifer. “The split vote was schizophrenic to say the least”, Attenberg producer Maria Hatzakou tells Cineuropa, adding that the moment “was uncomfortable for both directors”.
This is the second year an ad hoc committee is implemented to select the country’s Oscar submission. Up to 2009, the honour was automatically bestowed to each year’s top prize winner of the State Awards, an institution dismantled after the upheaval caused by the Filmmakers of Greece movement, and their boycott of both the awards and the Thessaloniki IFF of that year (see news).
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