‘Coda’ producer Philippe Rousselet on France’s new Oscars committee

Philippe Rousselet, Oscar-winning producer of “Coda”, “Paris, 13th District” director Jacques Ouard, sales agent Hengameh Panahi and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” filmmaker Michel Gondry are part of France’s newly revised Oscar submission committee.

The committee also includes sales agent Grégoire Melin, “11 Flowers” producer Deidar Domhari and Gaumont executive Ariane Toscan du Plantier.

The new group will decide which French film to submit for the International Feature Film Oscar. They will meet on September 15 to select three to five films. On 22 September, they will audition the producers and sales agents of the pre-selected films, before making the final selection. The President of the National Film Board (CNC) and UNIFRANCE will be able to participate in the meetings of the Commission as observers.

The selected film must be sent to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences before October 3. Meanwhile, the deadline for submitting French films for Oscar consideration is September 1.

The decision to overhaul the committee came to the fore earlier this week.

As part of the overhaul, permanent members such as Cannes Film Festival general representative Thierry Framaux, César Académie president Véronique Kella and Unifrance boss Serge Tubiana will no longer be part of the committee.

The decree was issued by newly elected Culture Minister Reema Abdul Malak and was published in the Journal Officials on 27 July.

France’s decision to reform the Oscars commission stemmed from criticism of the submission of films that premiered at Cannes, but did not necessarily have the best chance of walking away in the Oscar race and eventually earning a nomination.

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Last year’s controversial selection of Julia DuCournau’s divisive Palme d’Or won “Titan” over Audrey Dewan’s abortion drama “Happening”—which won the Golden Lion in Venice—crystallized frustration within the local industry and concerns over potential conflicts of interest.

The last French Oscar submission that won Best International Feature Film was Regis Varganier’s “Indochine” in 1993.

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