Latest NewsSophie Dupuis' Chien de garde to represent Canada in Oscars race

Sophie Dupuis’ Chien de garde to represent Canada in Oscars race

Telefilm has announced that director Sophie Dupuis’ Chien de garde will represent Canada in the race for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, to be held on Feb. 24. 

A filmmaker from Val-d’Or, Québec, Chien de garde is Dupuis’ first feature film.

“I was extremely proud today when I learnt that my first feature film would represent Canada at one of the biggest celebrations of cinema. It’s absolutely incredible to be told that indeed my voice deserves to be heard – I feel like I’m dreaming,” Dupuis said in a press release. “I’d also like to take this opportunity to recognize the talented creators who worked with me and who helped lift this film up to its highest level.”

Chien de garde was produced by Etienne Hansez of independent Quebec production house Bravo Charlie, which also produced Dupuis’ short film L’hiver et la Violence.

“At Bravo Charlie, we create films with a unique signature while remaining accessible to audiences everywhere. With Chien de Garde, Sophie Dupuis continued in that line and we are extremely proud to embark on this race,” added Hansez.

The film focuses on central character JP, who lives with his brother Vincent, his mother Joe and his girlfriend Mel in a small apartment in Verdun. JP struggles with balancing his needy family, for whom he feels responsible; the collecting job he works with his brother; and his involvement in the drug cartel run by his uncle Dany, whom he sees as a father figure.

Chien de garde stars Jean-Simon Leduc, Théodore Pellerin, Claudel Laberge, Maude Guérin, and Paul Ahmarani.

Since its theatrical release, the film has been screened in competition at some 20 international film festivals. It earned three Iris Prizes at the most recent Gala Québec Cinéma for best lead actress, best new actor, and best editing.

Telefilm coordinates and chairs the pan-Canadian Oscar selection committee, which is comprised of 24 representatives from the main governmental organizations and associations active in the audiovisual industry. The jury is responsible for submitting one film representing Canada to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which accepts just one film per country in the Best Foreign Language Film category. The selected film must have been produced outside of the U.S., be primarily in a language other than English, and have been shown in a movie theatre for at least seven consecutive days in its country of origin between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018. The Academy will announce a shortlist of nine films, selected from among those submitted, in December. The official nominations for five films will be announced in January.

In the history of the Oscars, eight Canadian films have been nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category: Kim Nguyen’s War Witch, in 2013; Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar and Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness (a minority coproduction with Poland and Germany), in 2012; Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, in 2011; and Deepa Mehta’s Water, in 2007. Denys Arcand has also earned three nominations for The Decline of the American Empire, in 1987, Jesus of Montreal, in 1990, and The Barbarian Invasions, in 2004 – the only Canadian film to have won the award.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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