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PARIS– Belgium has selected Jaco Van Dormael’s surreal comedy “The Brand New Testament” to compete for a foreign-language Oscar nomination.

“The Brand New Testament” world premiered at Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight and came out in Belgium, France and Switzerland this fall, grossing an estimated 5.3 million Euros across Belgium, France and Switzerland.
“The Brand New Testament” scored the best opening for a French speaking Belgian film.

Jaco Van Dormael’s films have represented Belgium in the Oscar race twice before: “Toto the Hero” in 1991 and “The Eighth Day” in 1996. The helmer won the Oscar for best foreign short for “Maedeli-La-Breche” in 1980.

Le Pacte is handling international sales of the film, which stars Benoît Poelvoorde, Yolande Moreau, François Damiens and Catherine Deneuve. “The Brand New Testament” has sold to more than 50 countries already.

The Brand New Testament will have its world premiere at the Austin Fantastic Film Festival, and will compete at the European Film Awards.

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The Oscar ceremony will be held on Feb.28. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 14.