‘Antigone’ chosen as Canada’s contender for international film Oscar

Film centres on immigrant teen caught between her moral code and the justice system

Director Sophie Deraspe, right, smiles alongside actress Nahema Ricci during a news conference to announce “Antigone” as Canada’s entry for the 2020 Academy Awards for the best international film in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Director Sophie Deraspe, right, smiles alongside actress Nahema Ricci during a news conference to announce “Antigone” as Canada’s entry for the 2020 Academy Awards for the best international film in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Quebec writer-director Sophie Deraspe says she’s proud that her film has been chosen as the “Canadian ambassador” in the leadup to the 2020 Academy Awards.

Telefilm Canada announced Friday that Canada is putting forward “Antigone” to vie for a nomination in Oscars’ best international feature film category, which used to be known as best foreign language film.

Deraspe said she sees the recognition not only as an endorsement of her craft, but also of the ideal the film espouses.

“Antigone is also a film about values. Values of sympathy, integrity, love,” the Montreal filmmaker said by phone after Friday’s announcement.

“I feel proud of… campaigning not only for film, for the art of filmmaking, but also those values.”

A modern revisioning of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, the Montreal-set drama centres on Antigone, played by newcomer Nahema Ricci, a teenager caught in a clash between her moral code and Canada’s justice system when tragedy strikes her immigrant family.

Deraspe, who wrote and directed the film, said the story represents the power of the individual to shatter the “immovable wall” of the system.

“It’s about a young woman who has no power in terms of what is power in our world … and she stands against authority because of what she believes,” said Deraspe, whose 2015 credits include the documentary “The Amina Profile” and the feature ”Les Loups.”

“That’s what the film wants to carry — that OK, there’s this big system above us, but we are those that are powerful deep inside.”

“Antigone” won the $30,000 Canada Goose Award for best Canadian feature film at the Toronto International Film Festival last Sunday.

ALSO READ: Canadians Paul Massey and Domee Shi win Oscars for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Bao’

“Antigone,” which hits theatres in Quebec on Nov. 6, is competing against films submitted by dozens of other countries, including two Canadian co-productions, in the race for an Oscars nod for international feature.

A short list of 10 films will be unveiled on Dec. 16, and the chosen five official nominees will be announced on Jan. 13.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. (File photo)
Wolf Creek and Wetaskiwin school boards ‘reassured’ by letter from LaGrange

Boards urge the Alberta government to honour commitments to Indigenous peoples

Loki’s Car Club hosting its first annual holiday toy drive. File photo.
Loki’s Car Club hosting its first annual holiday toy drive

Local Wetaskiwin businesses set up as toy drive drop off locations.

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta now has 17,743 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

A home on Montana First Nation was damaged by fire in the early hours on Dec. 2, 2020. (Chevi Rabbit/Submitted)
House fires on Montana Cree Nation under investigation

Two separate fires took place in the early hours of Dec. 2

Longtime central Alberta politician Judy Gordon has passed away. Photo courtesy of the City of Lacombe
Former Lacombe Mayor Judy Gordon passes away

Gordon also served as MLA for Lacombe-Stettler before retiring from politics in 2010

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council squashes mask bylaw

The bylaw did not make it past first reading, after a 4-3 vote defeated the motion

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Most Read