France'sfilm council (CNC) has announced that Christophe Barratier's Les Choristes will represent the country as this year's submissionfor best foreign language Oscar.
Budgetedat Euros 5.5m, the film is something of a phenomenon in France having garnerednearly eight million admissions since it was released in March of 2004.
StarringGerard Jugnot as a music teacher in a school in post-WWII Lyon, the film onlyfell out of the weekly top twenty-two weeks ago.
LesChoristes, Barratier's featuredebut, is produced by Galatee Films and is a remake of La Cage AuxRossignols by Jean Dreville.It was selected to represent France by a committee that includespresident of the advance on receipts section of the CNC, Jean-Claude Lamy,Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux and Unifrance president MargaretMenegoz.
The past two years'submissions, Bon Voyage fromJean-Paul Rappeneau in 2003 and Francois Ozon's 8 Women in 2002 failed to make the final shortlist of fivenominees for the big prize.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie, however, was an Oscar contender in 2001. As withthat film, Miramax will release Les Choristes in the US.