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OSCAR 2006 France

Joyeux Noël on course

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The second feature by Christian Carion, Joyeux Noël [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Carion
interview: Christophe Rossignon
film profile
]
, was selected yesterday as French candidate in the race for Oscar nominations for 2006 as Best Foreign Film.
Screened out of competition at the last Cannes Festival (read article), the European mega co-production led by France caused such a stir that UGC, its distributor in France decided to modify its strategy in order to be available for Oscar selection. Initially set for Christmas 2005, the film was moved to 9th November for French distribution with a total of 350 prints, but UGC Distribution will also organise on Wednesday a special limited release in a single theatre in Pas-de-Calais. Since, in order to be Oscar candidate, the selected film must be released between the 1st October 2004 and the 30th September 2005, and be majority filmed in the French language.

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This selection not only honours a filmmaker who made his thunderous debut with Une hirondelle a fait le printemps (2,4 millions admissions in 2001-2002 in France), but also its producer Christophe Rossignon (Nord-Ouest) who succeeded in pulling together a European cast including (Daniel Brühl, Guillaume Canet, Diane Krüger, Gary Lewis, Benno Fürmann and Dany Boon) and finance from Germany (Senator Film Produktion), the UK (Joyeux Noël Ltd), Belgium (Artémis Productions) and Rumanian (Mediapro Pictures). An association which produced a successful and favourably received film for the international sales company Films Distribution (read article. Also, Joyeux Noël will be released successively in Germany (24/11), Greece (25/11), Belgium (30/11), Holland (01/12), in Spain (02/12) and in the UK (14/12).

Facing stiff competition this year from March of The Penguins (whose US distributor could present it as Best Documentary), That beat my heart skipped [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and also Live and Become [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Denis Carot
interview: Didar Domehri
interview: Radu Mihaileanu
film profile
]
, Joyeux Noël was selected by a commission of seven personalities chosen by the Minister for Culture. Among them figured notably Thierry Frémaux (artistic delegate for the Canned Festival), Margaret Menégoz (president of Unifrance), Claude Durand (president of the Advance on Receipts commission), Laurent Vallet (resident at the aid commission for foreign promotion) and Pierre Chevalier (president of the aid Commission for Writing).
Nominations for Oscar 2006 for Best Foreign Film will be revealed on 31st January, the prize-giving ceremony is set for 5th of March.

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(Translated from French)

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