Drunken Birds will represent Canada in the race for an Oscar nomination for the best international feature film.
Montreal’s Ivan Grbovic directed and co-wrote the drama, about a lovestruck Mexican drug cartel member who becomes a seasonal migrant worker in rural Quebec.
Sara Mishara co-wrote the film, which has the French title Les oiseaux ivres, and stars Jorge Antonio Guerrero and Yoshira Escarrega.
Telefilm Canada says a pan-Canadian committee of about 20 voting delegates chose the project — which includes dialogue in French, Spanish, English and Mandarin — out of a total of 10 films submitted for Academy Awards consideration.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences must now decide which films will move on to the next round of voting in the category, with a shortlist of 10 films to be revealed on Dec. 21.
Films that make the final cut will be announced along with the other Oscar nominations on Feb. 8.
Drunken Birds premiered at last month’s Toronto International Film Festival and will be released on Oct. 15.
It’s Grbovic’s second feature film after Romeo Eleven from 2011, which won the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and the Discovery Award at the Namur Film Festival.
Last year’s Canadian selection was originally Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy, but it was later disqualified from competing because it failed to meet the academy’s eligibility requirements due to the story’s amount of English dialogue.
Telefilm Canada then submitted Jean-Philippe Duval’s French-language drama 14 Days 12 Nights in place of Funny Boy, but it ultimately did not get a nomination.
The best international feature is awarded to a film produced outside of the United States with predominantly non-English dialogue.
The 2022 Oscars are scheduled to air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 27.
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