This day -- January 10, 2013 -- was the movie industry's big day, as the Academy Award nominations for this past year's works were announced, and, yes, there is again a Canadian quotient in the mix. ( see video)
Life of Pi, based on Canadian Yann Martel's award-winning novel, is a leading Oscar contender. It earned 11 nominations, including best picture, for director Ang Lee and two nods for the music of Mychael Danna (original score and original song for Pi's Lullaby), the Winnipeg-born and now Toronto-based composer.
Martel grew up in Montreal and now makes Saskatoon, Saskatchewan his home. ( see map)
Another Canadian nominee is the child soldier drama War Witch (also known by its French-language name Rebelle), which has earned kudos on the international film festival circuit, including best actress honours for Rachel Mwanza, a former street kid.
So, therein lies the dilemma that has always plagued the Canadian film industry. English language movies made in Canada by Canadians are not considered " foreign" films, where-as those made in Quebec by Canadian citizens, but which use French as their main language, are considered " foreign". Huh?
Directed by Montrealer Kim Nguyen, War Witch is a finalist for best foreign film, going up against Michael Haneke's acclaimed end-of-life drama Amour (Austria), the court saga A Royal Affair (Denmark), seafaring tale Kon-Tiki (Norway) and political story No (Chile).
"I will always remember when Rachel Mwanza, after being the first African woman to ever win the Silver Bear for Best Actress [in Berlin], returned home to the Congolese streets of Kinshasa and was greeted by passionate chants and overwhelming pride," Nguyen told CBC News.
"So, in the case of War Witch, these recognitions do make a difference. ", he said.
War Witch is the third consecutive movie by a Quebec filmmaker to be chosen as Canada's official submission for Academy Award consideration, and become a finalist for the best foreign-language Oscar. It follows Philippe Falardeau's Monsieur Lazhar in 2012 and Denis Villneuve's Incendies in 2011.
Two Canadians are also in the running in the live action short category: Ariel Nasr for Buzkashi Boys and Yan England for Henry.
Other Oscar nominations for Life of Pi include one for best adapted screenplay. As of January 4th of this year, Life of Pi had earned 311 million dollars in world wide box office receipts.
Academy Awards televised Feb. 24
Oscar host and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and actress Emma Stone unveiled the nominees Thursday, January 10th.
This year’s Oscar ceremony will include a special tribute sequence marking the 50-year-old James Bond movie franchise.
The ceremony will be broadcast from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 24 and will air live in more than 225 countries. ( With special credit to CBC News).
Thanks for the click. Follow us on twitter @dlr1949