Sophie Dupuis’s Chien de garde to represent Canada in the race for the 2019 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

A filmmaker from Val-D’Or, Québec, Sophie Dupuis studied at Concordia University and the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). After directing several narrative shorts (including Faillir), she made Forces tranquilles, her first documentary short. Chien de garde is her first feature film.

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Montréal, September 19, 2018 — Director Sophie Dupuis’s Chien de garde will represent Canada in the race for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards, to be held on February 24, 2019. The pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee, chaired and coordinated by Telefilm Canada, announced its decision today.

“Canadian talent shines brightly on the international stage all year round,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “From Berlin to Venice by way of Sundance, our films have been tremendously successful. Attracting foreign audiences is a major challenge, and making it to the Oscars is an incredible way to get the entire world to sit up and take notice. We are extremely proud of the team behind Chien de garde, and we hope that its pursuit of the Oscar is marked by a series of truly memorable moments.”

A filmmaker from Val-D’Or, Québec, Sophie Dupuis studied at Concordia University and the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). After directing several narrative shorts (including Faillir), she made Forces tranquilles, her first documentary short. Chien de garde is her first feature film.

“I was extremely proud today when I learnt that my first feature film would represent Canada at one of the biggest celebrations of cinema. It’s absolutely incredible to be told that indeed my voice deserves to be heard – I feel like I’m dreaming,” said director Sophie Dupuis. “I’d also like to take this opportunity to recognize the talented creators who worked with me and who helped lift this film up to its highest level.”

Chien de garde was produced by Etienne Hansez (Bravo Charlie). A former journalist and a graduate of the Institut national de l’image et du son (INIS), Etienne Hansez founded Bravo Charlie with Raphaëlle Bilodeau in 2013. Together, they produced short films by Sophie Dupuis (L’hiver et la Violence), Jeanne Leblanc (Carla en 10 secondes), and Claude Demers (Mon dernier été). Following Raphaëlle Bilodeau’s departure from the company, Etienne Hansez became Bravo Charlie’s sole owner. Building on his strengths as a producer-writer, he has acquired solid expertise in project development. The filmmakers he has worked with for the past several years have remained extremely loyal, proof that the relationship between him and the writers is marked by a deep collaborative spirit.

Producer Etienne Hansez added: “At Bravo Charlie, we create films with a unique signature while remaining accessible to audiences everywhere. With Chien de Garde, Sophie Dupuis continued in that line and we are extremely proud to embark on this race.”

Synopsis

JP lives with his brother Vincent, his mother Joe and his girlfriend Mel in a small apartment in Verdun. Constantly walking a tightrope, JP tries to find the right balance between his very needy family, for whom he feels responsible, the collecting job he works with his brother, and his involvement in the drug cartel run by his uncle Dany, whom he sees as a father figure.

Chien de garde stars Jean-Simon Leduc, Théodore Pellerin, Claudel Laberge, Maude Guérin, and Paul Ahmarani.

Since its theatrical release, Chien de garde has been screened in competition at some 20 international film festivals. The film also picked up three Iris Prizes at the most recent Gala Québec Cinéma: best lead actress, best new actor, and best editing.

Distributed by Axia Films and produced by Bravo Charlie, Chien de garde was funded by Telefilm Canada, among others.

Selection process for the Best Foreign Language Film category

Telefilm coordinates and chairs the pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee, which comprises 24 representatives from the main governmental organizations and associations active in the audiovisual industry. The jury is responsible for submitting one film representing Canada to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which accepts only one film per country in the Best Foreign Language Film category. The selected film must have been produced outside of the United States, be primarily in a language other than English, and have been shown in a movie theatre for at least seven consecutive days in its country of origin between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018. The Academy will announce a shortlist of nine films, selected from among those submitted, in December of this year. The official nominations for five films will be announced in January 2019.

Further information about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules and eligibility.

Canada and the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars

In the history of the Oscars, eight Canadian films have been nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category: Kim Nguyen’s War Witch, in 2013; Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar and Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness (a minority coproduction with Poland and Germany), in 2012; Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, in 2011; and Deepa Mehta’s Water, in 2007. Three films by Denys Arcand were also nominated: The Decline of the American Empire, in 1987, Jesus of Montreal, in 1990, and The Barbarian Invasions, in 2004—the only Canadian film to have won the coveted award.

Members of the pan-Canadian selection committee
Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT)
Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA)
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
Alliance québécoise des techniciens de l’image et du son (AQTIS)
Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ)
Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM)
Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma (AQCC)
Canada Council for the Arts
Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)
Creative BC
Creative Saskatchewan
Directors Guild of Canada
Global Affairs Canada
Manitoba Film and Music
National Film Board of Canada
New Brunswick — Tourism, Heritage and Culture
Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation
Nova Scotia Business Inc.
Northwest Territories Film Commission
Nunavut Film Development Corporation
Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)
Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma du Québec (SARTEC)
Union des artistes (UDA)
Yukon Media Development

About Telefilm Canada—See bigger.

Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund accepts private donations to principally support emerging talent. Visit telefilm.ca and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/telefilm_canada and on Facebook at facebook.com/telefilmcanada.

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