Telefilm picks Sophie Dupuis’ Chien de garde for Oscar race

Image courtesy of Axia Films
The Quebec filmmaker's debut feature is produced by Etienne Hansez and distributed by Axia Films.

Sophie Dupuis’ debut feature Chien de garde (“Watchdog”) is Canada’s foreign-language Oscar pick, Telefilm Canada announced today.

Written and directed by Dupuis and produced by Etienne Hansez of Bravo Charlie, the film tells the story of JP, who is caught between taking care of his family, his work responsibilities and his duties in a small drug cartel run by his uncle. It stars Jean-Simon Leduc (Maudite Poutine), Théodore Pellerin (Boost), Claudel Laberge (Les beaux malaises), Maude Guérin (La Passion d’Augustine), and Paul Ahmarani (Ville Neuve).

In Canada, the project was released in April via Quebec’s Axia Films and has since screened in competition in around 20 international film festivals. It also picked up three Iris Prizes at the most recent Gala Québec Cinéma for best lead actress, best new actor and best editing. As well, Dupuis, whose previous short-film credits include Faillir and Forces tranquilles, was last week nominated for a DGC Discovery Award.

In total, eight Canadian films have been nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar, including Kim Nguyen’s War Witch in 2013, Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar and Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness (a minority copro with Poland and Germany) in 2012; Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies in 2011; and Deepa Mehta’s Water in 2007.

The 91st Academy Awards is set to be held on Feb. 24, 2019.

Image courtesy of Axia Films