You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Merry’ pick galls rejected producers

Chosen pic's eligibility questioned

PARIS — The choice of Christian Carion’s World War I-set “Joyeux Noel” (Merry Christmas) to rep France in Oscar’s foreign-language race has sparked a local spat.

Producers of shortlisted pics “Live and Become” and “March of the Penguins” claim that “Merry Christmas” is ineligible because it won’t have had a normal release before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ cutoff date, and it hasn’t tallied 200,000 admissions in France, a Gallic requirement.

“We aren’t trying to be spoilsports, but the selection of ‘Merry Christmas’ is astounding,” said Marie Masmonteil, producer of “Live and Become.” “It’s as if the regulations are there to be broken.”

The Centre National de la Cinematographie said the 200,000-admissions rule isn’t binding. But French producers wishing to submit a film are told by CNC that it is one of the selection conditions.

More important, the Societe des Producteurs Independents (SPI) claims Carion’s $22 million drama, which Sony Pictures Classics will release Stateside in March, breaks an Acad rule.

Pic, based on the true story of a frontline truce between soldiers on Christmas Eve 1914, bowed Sept. 21 at a small arthouse theater in St. Pol-sur-Ternoise, near where it was shot. This fulfills the requirement that foreign-language Oscar candidates must have screened in their own country for at least seven consecutive days between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30. It will go nationwide in November.

The SPI quotes from the Academy’s rulebook that eligible films must be “advertised and exploited in a manner considered normal and customary to the industry.” “This clearly isn’t a normal release by French standards,” Masmonteil said.

In St. Pol on Thursday with Carion to promote “Merry Christmas,” producer Christophe Rossignon dismissed the rumpus.

“I’m confident we are not in breach of the regulations,” he said.

More Film

  • moviepass card

    MoviePass Parent's Shares Crushed After Disclosing Pricing of Stock Sale

    PARIS — The choice of Christian Carion’s World War I-set “Joyeux Noel” (Merry Christmas) to rep France in Oscar’s foreign-language race has sparked a local spat. Producers of shortlisted pics “Live and Become” and “March of the Penguins” claim that “Merry Christmas” is ineligible because it won’t have had a normal release before the Academy […]

  • 'Deadpool 2' Releases Final Trailer [WATCH]

    'Deadpool 2' Drops Final Trailer

    PARIS — The choice of Christian Carion’s World War I-set “Joyeux Noel” (Merry Christmas) to rep France in Oscar’s foreign-language race has sparked a local spat. Producers of shortlisted pics “Live and Become” and “March of the Penguins” claim that “Merry Christmas” is ineligible because it won’t have had a normal release before the Academy […]

  • solo a star wars story

    'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Set to Hit China on May 25

    PARIS — The choice of Christian Carion’s World War I-set “Joyeux Noel” (Merry Christmas) to rep France in Oscar’s foreign-language race has sparked a local spat. Producers of shortlisted pics “Live and Become” and “March of the Penguins” claim that “Merry Christmas” is ineligible because it won’t have had a normal release before the Academy […]

  • 'Little Pink House' Review: Catherine Keener

    Film Review: 'Little Pink House'

    PARIS — The choice of Christian Carion’s World War I-set “Joyeux Noel” (Merry Christmas) to rep France in Oscar’s foreign-language race has sparked a local spat. Producers of shortlisted pics “Live and Become” and “March of the Penguins” claim that “Merry Christmas” is ineligible because it won’t have had a normal release before the Academy […]

  • David Cronenberg10th Beaune International Thriller Film

    Venice Film Festival to Honor David Cronenberg With Lifetime Achievement Award

    PARIS — The choice of Christian Carion’s World War I-set “Joyeux Noel” (Merry Christmas) to rep France in Oscar’s foreign-language race has sparked a local spat. Producers of shortlisted pics “Live and Become” and “March of the Penguins” claim that “Merry Christmas” is ineligible because it won’t have had a normal release before the Academy […]

  • Female Filmmakers Center Stage at Sundance

    Female Filmmakers Center Stage at Sundance Film Festival London

    PARIS — The choice of Christian Carion’s World War I-set “Joyeux Noel” (Merry Christmas) to rep France in Oscar’s foreign-language race has sparked a local spat. Producers of shortlisted pics “Live and Become” and “March of the Penguins” claim that “Merry Christmas” is ineligible because it won’t have had a normal release before the Academy […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content