Gabrielle, the Louise Archambault-directed relationship drama that is Canada’s entry into this year’s Foreign Language Film Oscar race, will be released this winter by Entertainment One, which has acquired U.S. distribution rights. EOne is banking on strong past showings of Canadian films at the Oscars to help drive awareness: Gabrielle is the third film from Montréal-based production company micro_scope to be put up for Academy Award consideration following 2011′s Monsieur Lazhar and 2010′s Incendies — and both landed eventual nominations. (Last year’s Canadian entry, War Witch, produced by Item 7, was also a nominee.) Gabrielle is the story of a musically talented woman (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard) suffering from Williams syndrome. When she falls in love with a fellow choir member, she seeks valiantly to prove her independence. EOne Films International already has sold distribution rights to other key territories, and the film was released in France yesterday. The U.S. deal was negotiated for eOne International by EVP Charlotte Mickie and for eOne Films U.S. by VP Worldwide Acquisitions Sejin Croninger.
UPDATED 3:40 PM: Thailand has put up the psycho-thriller Countdown as its entry for the Foreign Language Oscar. Director Nattawut “Baz” Poonpiriya’s film revolves around three potheads who are tormented by a dealer (David Asavanond) in their New York apartment on New Year’s Eve.
PREVIOUSLY: Italy, Spain, Denmark and China are among the big territories yet to announce their submissions for the Foreign Language Oscar race as the October 1st deadline approaches. Canada, which has made a strong showing with the Academy in the past several years, chimed in today. The selection committee at Téléfilm Canada has chosen Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle to represent the country. Along with 2011′s Monsieur Lazhar and 2010′s Incendies, that scores a hat trick of films from Montréal-based production company micro_scope to have been annointed in the last four years. Both Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar and Prisoners‘ director Denis Villeneuve‘s Incendies went on to eventual nominations. (Last year’s Canadian entry, War Witch, produced by Item 7, was also a nominee.) Gabrielle is the story of a musically talented young woman suffering from Williams syndrome. When she falls in love with a fellow choir member, she seeks valiantly to prove her independence.