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List of Canadian submissions for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film

Denys Arcand, director of The Barbarian Invasions (2003), the first Canadian film to receive the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Canada has submitted films for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film[nb 1] since 1971. The award is handed out annually by the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.[3] It was not created until the 1956 Academy Awards, in which a competitive Academy Award of Merit, known as the Best Foreign Language Film Award, was created for non-English speaking films, and has been given annually since.[4]

As of 2018, seven Canadian films have been nominated, including one winner, for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Of these films, three have been directed by Denys Arcand: Jesus of Montreal, nominated at the 62nd Academy Awards; The Decline of the American Empire, nominated at the 59th Academy Awards; and its sequel, The Barbarian Invasions, which was the winner at the 76th Academy Awards.[5] Arcand's Days of Darkness was shortlisted for the Oscar, but was not nominated. The other four Canadian directors to have their films nominated are Deepa Mehta for Water at the 79th Academy Awards,[6] Denis Villeneuve for Incendies at the 83rd Academy Awards,[7] Philippe Falardeau for Monsieur Lazhar at the 84th Academy Awards,[8] and Kim Nguyen for War Witch at the 85th Academy Awards.[9]

Of the 44 films selected to date as Canada's submission to the Academy Awards, 18 of them have also won the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Motion Picture.



The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited the film industries of various countries to submit their best film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since 1956.[4] The Foreign Language Film Award Committee oversees the process and reviews all the submitted films. Following this, they vote via secret ballot to determine the five nominees for the award.[3] Below is a list of the films that have been submitted by Canada for review by the Academy for the award by year and the respective Academy Awards ceremony. With two exceptions (2001's Inuktitut Atanarjuat and 2005's Hindi Water), all submissions were Québécois films. All of these were in French, except for A Bullet in the Head which was spoken entirely in an invented language.[10] Other French-language submissions have featured a substantial amount of Inuktitut (The Necessities of Life), Lingala (War Witch), Yiddish (Felix and Meira),[11] and Mohawk and Algonquin (Hochelaga, Land of Souls).[12]

Film title used in nomination Original title Director Result
Mon oncle Antoine Mon oncle Antoine Claude Jutra Not Nominated
The True Nature of Bernadette La Vraie nature de Bernadette Gilles Carle Not Nominated
Orders Les Ordres Michel Brault Not Nominated
J.A. Martin Photographer J.A. Martin photographe Jean Beaudin Not Nominated
A Scream from Silence Mourir à tue-tête Anne Claire Poirier Not Nominated
Good Riddance Les Bons débarras Francis Mankiewicz Not Nominated
The Plouffe Family Les Plouffe Gilles Carle Not Nominated
Wild Flowers Les Fleurs savages Jean Pierre Lefebvre Not Nominated
The Tin Flute Bonheur d'occasion Claude Fournier Not Nominated
Sonatine Sonatine Micheline Lanctôt Not Nominated
Jacques and November Jacques et novembre François Bouvier Not Nominated
The Decline of the American Empire Le Déclin de l'empire américain Denys Arcand Nominated[13]
Night Zoo Un Zoo la Nuit Jean-Claude Lauzon Not Nominated
The Revolving Doors Les portes tournantes Francis Mankiewicz Not Nominated
Jesus of Montreal Jésus de Montréal Denys Arcand Nominated[14]
An Imaginary Tale Une histoire inventée André Forcier Not Nominated
A Bullet in the Head[15] A Bullet in the Head Attila Bertalan Not Nominated
Léolo Léolo Jean-Claude Lauzon Not Nominated
The Sex of the Stars Le Sexe des étoiles Paule Baillargeon Not Nominated
My Friend Max Mon amie Max Michel Brault Not Nominated
The Confessional Le Confessional Robert Lepage Not Nominated
Not Me! Sous-sol Pierre Gang Not Nominated
Cosmos Cosmos Jennifer Alleyn, Manon Briand,
Marie-Julie Dallaire, Arto Paragamian,
André Turpin, Denis Villeneuve
Not Nominated
August 32nd on Earth[16] Un 32 août sur terre Denis Villeneuve Not Nominated
Set Me Free[17] Emporte-moi Léa Pool Not Nominated
Maelström[18] Maelström Denis Villeneuve Not Nominated
Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner[11] Atanarjuat Zacharias Kunuk Not Nominated
Un crabe dans la tête[19] Un crabe dans la tête André Turpin Not Nominated
The Barbarian Invasions Les Invasions barbares Denys Arcand Won Academy Award[20]
Far Side of the Moon[21] La face cachée de la lune Robert Lepage Not Nominated
C.R.A.Z.Y.[22] C.R.A.Z.Y. Jean-Marc Vallée Not Nominated
Water वाटर Deepa Mehta Nominated[6]
Days of Darkness L'Âge des ténèbres Denys Arcand Made January Shortlist[23]
The Necessities of Life Ce qu'il faut pour vivre Benoît Pilon Made January Shortlist[24]
I Killed My Mother[25] J'ai tué ma mère Xavier Dolan Not Nominated
Incendies[26] Incendies Denis Villeneuve Nominated[7]
Monsieur Lazhar[27] Monsieur Lazhar Philippe Falardeau Nominated[28]
War Witch[29] Rebelle Kim Nguyen Nominated[30]
Gabrielle[31] Gabrielle Louise Archambault Not Nominated
Mommy[32] Mommy Xavier Dolan Not Nominated
Felix and Meira[33] Félix et Meira Maxime Giroux Not Nominated
It's Only the End of the World[34] Juste la fin du monde Xavier Dolan Made December Shortlist[35]
Hochelaga, Land of Souls[36] Hochelaga terre des âmes François Girard Not Nominated
Family First[37] Chien de garde Sophie Dupuis Not Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The category was previously named the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but this was changed to the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in April 2019, after the Academy deemed the word "Foreign" to be outdated.[1][2]


  1. ^ "Academy announces rules for 92nd Oscars". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Academy Announces Rule Changes For 92nd Oscars". Forbes. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Rule Thirteen: Special Rules for the Foreign Language Film Award". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b "History of the Academy Awards - Page 2". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 19 October 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Denys Arcand - Awards". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Deepa Mehta - Awards". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards". Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  8. ^ "When the Best Teacher Doesn't Have a Degree". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Canadian director Kim Nguyen on his Oscar nomination for War Witch (Rebelle): 'We're clearly the underdog'". The National Post. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  10. ^ "A Bullet in the Head". Éléphant: mémoire du cinéma québécois. Quebecor. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  11. ^ a b Wong, Jessica (23 September 2016). "Xavier Dolan's It's Only the End of the World to be Canada's Oscar foreign-language film submission". CBC News. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  12. ^ Dunlevy, T'cha (25 September 2017). "Hochelaga, terre des âmes is Canada's foreign-language Oscar contender". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  13. ^ "The 59th Academy Awards (1987) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  14. ^ "The 62nd Academy Awards (1990) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  15. ^ Staff (17 May 1999). "Between the Moon & Montevideo films on location in Old Havana". Playback. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Arrival director Denis Villeneuve goes from MuchMusic to the Oscars in just 20 short years". The Toronto Star. 18 February 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Emporte to Oscars?". Playback. 15 November 1999. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Record 46 Countries in Race for Oscar". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 20 November 2000. Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  19. ^ "Crabe Dans La Tete joins Oscar race for Canada". Screen Daily. 3 November 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  20. ^ Associated Press (3 January 2004). "'Invasions' takes foreign-language Oscar". Today. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Telefilm Canada invites producers to submit their feature films to the pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee". TeleFilm Canada. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  22. ^ Leiren-Young, Mark (24 November 2005). "Jean-Marc Vallée's keeps C.R.A.Z.Y. in Quebec". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  23. ^ "Nine foreign-language films compete for Oscar slots". USA Today. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  24. ^ "En bref - Ce qu'il faut pour vivre, présélectionné aux Oscars". Le Devoir. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  25. ^ "Xavier Dolan's killer debut is Canada's Oscar pick". CBC News. 22 September 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  26. ^ "Canada picks 'Incendies' to vie for Oscar". hollywoodreporter. Archived from the original on 1 October 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  27. ^ "Monsieur Lazhar is Canada's Oscar selection". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  28. ^ "Oscars 2012: Nominees in full". BBC News. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  29. ^ "Kim Nguyen's Rebelle (War Witch) is Canada's Oscar submission for best foreign language film". The Montreal Gazette. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  30. ^ "Oscars: Hollywood announces 85th Academy Award nominations". BBC News. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  31. ^ "Gabrielle gets Canada's Oscar selection for best foreign film". The Canadian Press. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  32. ^ "Dolan's 'Mommy' Canada's Oscar bid". Brampton Guardian. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  33. ^ Vlessing, Etan (25 September 2015). "Oscars: Canada Submits 'Felix and Meira' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  34. ^ Vlessing, Etan (23 September 2016). "Oscars: Canada Selects 'It's Only the End of the World' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  35. ^ "Oscars: Nine Films Advance in Foreign-Language Race". Variety. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  36. ^ Wong, Jessica (25 September 2017). "Hochelaga, terre des âmes named Canada's foreign-language contender for the Oscars". CBC News. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  37. ^ Vlessing, Etan (19 September 2018). "Oscars: Canada Selects 'Watch Dog' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 September 2018.

External linksEdit