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Dogtooth enters the Oscar race for Greece

Giorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth (Kynodontas) will represent Greece in this year’s Foreign Language Academy Awards race.

The film, awarded the Cannes 2009 Un Certain Regard Grand Prix, is represented world wide by French sales and production powerhouse MK2. Territories sold include the UK, where it was distributed by Verve bringing in 35,000 admissions; and the US, Netherlands and Spain.

The selection marks a departure from previous traditional practices and represents a substantial boost to the credibility of the movement “filmmakers in the mist” of which Lanthimos forms part.

Until last year, the film honoured at the State film awards was the one automatically entered into the Oscar race. This resulted into sometimes mediocre films in the running, because the State film awards are controlled by members of the film unions.

That was one of the reasons of the boycott by the “film makers in the mist” movement last November against the State awards and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF) lobbying for the creation of a new film law by the Culture Ministry.

Following the creation by members of the movement and other not affiliated film makers of the Hellenic Film Academy (HFA), Dogtooth was the big winner of the HFA awards earlier this year.

The Ministry established then an independent selection committee chaired by former TIFF director Michel Demopoulos, which selected Dogtooth.

Though opting for an objective way of selection for the Oscar contention is considered to be a step into the right direction, the Ministry has yet to present the new film law to the embattled local film community.        

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