2017 Post-Oscars Reception [fr]
Reception honoring the French nominees for the 89th Academy Awards on Monday, February 27th 2017 at the Residence of France in Beverly Hills.
Dear Depute Frederic Lefebvre,
Dear Consuls General
Dear Academy Members,
It is my great pleasure to welcome you all today at the Résidence de France for our fifth post-Academy Awards reception, which celebrates French cinema and, more broadly, international cinema, on the occasion of the 89th Academy Awards.
This year we are immensely honored to have amazing talents with us.
First and foremost, I would like to congratulate France’s film icon Ms. Isabelle Huppert on her Oscar nomination for her astounding performance in ELLE directed by Paul Verhoeven. These past few months have seen countless nominations, tributes, awards, all recognizing Ms. Huppert’s superb performance in the movie, among which the Golden Globe for Best Performance in a Motion Picture, the CESAR for best performance in a motion picture, and the Independent SPIRIT AWARDS’s Best Female Lead. For this occasion, I would also like to congratulate ELLE Director Paul Verhoeven, and producers Said Ben Said and Michel Merkt, who made a beautiful, demanding movie.
During her exceptional journey, Isabelle Huppert’s unique talent has been praised through many prestigious awards, from Venice to Cannes, including the César, our French Oscar. From films such as Violette Nozière, Heaven’s Gate, Madame Bovary to The Piano Teacher, Isabelle Huppert has had an extraordinary career, one that elevates her as an emblematic figure of French and international cinema. We would like to express France’s admiration and gratitude for her dedication to movies.
As you are aware, Asghar Farhadi is not among us to celebrate his second Oscar win for the French – Iranian coproduction the Salesman in the best Foreign language category.
This poignant movie already won the Best Actor Award and Best Screenplay Award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Year after year, Asghar Farhadi has proven to be a highly committed film director, bringing to light the infinite shades and asperities of the contemporary Iranian society. Renowned movies such as Oscar winner A Separation and The Past are overwhelming and thus extremely striking, while arousing multiple and ambivalent interpretations.
Furthermore, the numerous French productions and co-productions nominated at this year’s Awards Season are a showcase for the vibrancy and diversity of France’s cinema and highlight the significant role France plays in international co-productions.
I would also like to congratulate writer - director Selim Azzazi, the actors and the producers of the powerful short film Ennemis intérieurs which was an Academy award nominee for the Best Live Action Short. Ennemis Interieurs deals astutely with the complexity and hardships of being an immigrant facing an ambiguous French administration, and struggling with the issues of identity.
Now, it’s time to pay tribute to a woman who knows how to bring life to the most creative aspects of her imagination. By designing stunning costumes, Madeline Fontaine reminds us to never forget the enchantment of film. Her talent has already been recognized with two César for Best Costume Design. We have all been amazed by the finesse of the costumes in Jeunet’s Amélie, Jalil Lespert’s Yves Saint Laurent and the French television series Versailles, among many others. Congratulations on her Oscar nomination for the fabulous costume design for Jackie.
Although there will be no special effects of Stephane Ceretti suddenly appearing among us today, we want to celebrate his second Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his astonishing work on Dr. Strange.
Stephan was here in 2015 for his first Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for Guardians of the Galaxy, was unfortunately unable to make it today.
The documentary category has always been a window to reveal the turmoils of our societies. This year, we are saluting two superb films, both nominees for Best Documentary Feature : Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea whose whole team is with us today, and Raoul Peck’s I am Not Your Negro.
Film is a hub of cultural expression where print, music and image come together. Roots of cinema go back to shaping moving images. My Life as a Zucchini, directed by Claude Barras, and Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle have brought to the screen this essential aspect of film-making, that’s why we would like to wholeheartedly compliment these films for Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. We are delighted to have the team of My Life as a Zucchini with us today, and among them director Claude Barras and screenwriter Céline Sciamma.
Please allow me also to warmly congratulate Franco-American writer-director Damien Chazelle on his wonderful achievement for his magical “LA LA Land” which was largely celebrated yesterday with 6 Oscars.
Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the distributors for their strong commitment to giving marvelous movies access to the broadest audience : Sony Pictures Classic, Gkids, Magnolia Pictures, Kino Lorber, Amazon Studios, Cohen Media and ShortsHD. Bravo to all these distributors, who work behind the scenes every day to ensure that their movies will be in the spotlight one day. What an extraordinary achievement!
Without the CNC and Unifrance, we would not have so many French productions and co-productions to celebrate together today.
Before finishing, I must extend very warm thanks to our sponsor, Champagnes PIPER-HEIDSIECK, who kindly supported not only the official Academy Awards Ceremony but also our friendly post-Oscar moment together today.
Thank you all, congratulations again to all the nominees and winners, and a last piece of advice - hurry up to go see their movies !