Oscar 2010: Of Gods and Men is France’s Oscar Entry

Xavier Beauvois' critically acclaimed drama "Of Gods and Men" has been chosen to represent France in the foreign-language film race of the Oscars.

Based on a 1996 incident, the film follows eight French monks who live peacefully in a monastery perched in the mountains of Algeria until post-colonial tensions escalate. Driven by their faith and convictions, the monks decide to remain in Algeria in spite of repeated threats.
 
Starring Lambert Wilson, the film premiered at the Cannes Film Fest, where it garnered a jury prize and rave reviews. The picture was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics at Cannes for U.S. and Australia/New Zealand rights.
 
Released in France by Mars Distribution on September 8, the film topped the box-office and grossed a healthy $2.7 million in its first week.
 
As with last year's French entry, "A Prophet," "Of Gods and Men" is produced by Pascal Caucheteux's Why Not Films. French outfit Armada Films and pubcaster France 3 Cinema co-produced.
 
The movie is actor-turned-helmer Beauvois' seventh feature. He previously won the Europa Cinema Label award at Venice for 2005 pic "Le Petit Lieutenant."
 
"Of Gods and Men" was selected by a French committee, which includes Cannes Fest head Thierry Fremaux, president of the Cesar Academy Alain Terzian and thesp Jeanne Moreau, and helmers Jean-Jacques Annaud, Costa-Gavras and Regis Wargnier.