Telefilm Canada announced today (September 25) in Montreal the film title that will represent Canada in the best foreign language category at the 90th Academy Awards.
François Girard's Hochelaga, Land of Souls (Hochelaga, Terre des Âmes) was chosen by the Canadian Oscar selection committee
While Girard received critical acclaim for his 1993 biographical omnibus Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, about the renowned Canadian classical pianist, his 1998 film The Red Violin won an Oscar for best original score. He also directed the 2007 literary adaptation Silk and the 2014 U.S. drama Boychoir.
Hochelaga follows what happens after a sinkhole opens near a Montreal stadium, and a Mohawk archaeologist discovers buried secrets that prompt him to search for the former village of Hochelaga, where his Iroquoian ancestors met French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1535.
The cast includes Samian, Vincent Perez, Wahiakeron Gilbert, Raoul Trujillo, Sébastien Ricard, Siân Phillips, Linus Roache, Emmanuel Schwartz, David La Haye, Tanaya Beatty, Gilles Renaud, and Naïade Aoun.
The film, which features dialogue in Mohawk, Algonquin, French, and English, is slated for a theatrical release this fall.
Eight Canadian films have previously been nominated in the best foreign language film category at the Oscars:
• Deepa Mehta’s Water, in 2007
• Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, in 2011
• Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar and Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness (a minority coproduction with Poland and Germany), in 2012
• Kim Nguyen’s War Witch (Rebelle), in 2013
Three films by Denys Arcand were also nominated: The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'empire américain), in 1987, Jesus of Montreal (Jésus de Montréal), in 1990, and The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares), which won the award in 2004.
The 90th Academy Awards take place on March 4, 2018.