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Canada Selects Harrowing Child Soldier Drama 'Rebelle' As Best Foreign Language Oscar Entry

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 18, 2012 at 5:43PM

Telefilm Canada has named Montreal filmmaker Kim Nguyen’s child-soldier drama Rebelle (War Witch) as Canada’s selection for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
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'War Witch'
'War Witch'

Telefilm Canada has named Montreal filmmaker Kim Nguyen’s child-soldier drama Rebelle (War Witch) as Canada’s selection for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

Earlier today, we shared the news that France had selected the Omar Sy award-winning dramedy Intouchables as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

Telefilm Canada believes Rebelle (the Congo-set tale whose star, newcomer Rachel Mwanza, won the prestigious Golden Bear award for best actress at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year) will win over the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The film's synopsis reads as follows:

At 14, Komona has lived through horrors that eclipse any adult’s worst nightmares. In this mesmerizing, otherworldly drama, shot entirely in the Congo, she confides to the baby growing inside of her the harrowing story of her life since rebel warlords stormed her village. Fortified by eerily mystical powers and the warming friendship of an albino boy, the sensitive girl battles through this dire, war-ravaged world enchained as a child soldier.

Tribeca Film picked up USA rights to the harrowing, yet beautiful tale of courage and resiliency, with plans to release the film on multiple platforms (as it's done with past pickups) in early 2013.

After 10 years in development and a production marked by many adventures that have provided me with everlasting memories of the Congo and its people, this recognition warms my heart,” Nguyen said in a statement. “It was truly a team effort and this recognition is sincerely shared with everyone who worked on this film, from the writing, to the creation and production, as well as with all our financial partners who believed in us despite the risks.

It's worth noting that, in the last 2 years, Canadian films have made the final Oscar short list: Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, and Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies.

The 85th Academy Awards will be handed out on February 24. 

Watch the trailer below:

This article is related to: War Witch (Rebelle), Rachel Mwanza


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