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France Sends Robin Campillo’s ‘BPM (Beats Per Minute)’ to Foreign-Language Oscar Race

Robin Campillo’s sprawling AIDS activist drama “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” has been chosen to represent France in the foreign-language Oscar category.

“BPM” world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it earned widespread critical acclaim and won the Grand Prize from the jury headed by Pedro Almodovar. Represented in international markets and co-produced by Playtime, “BPM” was acquired by U.S. distribution company The Orchard at Cannes.

“BPM” marked Campillo’s first foray into Cannes’ competition and proved one of the best received films of the festival’s 70th edition. A topical film which is both universal and deeply rooted in French society, “BPM” has been sold worldwide to mainstream distributors and is meant to reach audiences well beyond the LGBT niche.

Variety’s Guy Lodge called the film a “sprawling, thrilling, finally heart-bursting group portrait of Parisian AIDS activists in the early 1990s…and a rare and invaluable non-American view of the global health crisis that decimated, among others, the gay community in the looming shadow of the 21st century.”

Lodge said that “BPM” delivered a “hot-blooded counter to the more polite strain of political engagement present in such prestige AIDS dramas as ‘Philadelphia’ and ‘Dallas Buyers Club.'”

“BPM” was produced by Hugues Charbonneau and Marie-Ange Luciani at Paris-based outfit Les Films de Pierre, in co-production with France 3 Cinéma, Page 114, Memento Films Production (which will distribute in France) and Playtime (previously named Films Distribution).

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