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Drunken Birds [Les oiseaux ivres] represents Canada in the race for Best International Feature Film at the 2022 Oscars

04 October 2021

Drunken Birds [Les oiseaux ivres], by director and co-writer Ivan Grbovic and co-writer Sara Mishara, is representing Canada in the nomination process for Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards, to be held on March 27, 2022The film is produced by micro_scope and distributed by Les Films Opale. The international sales agent is WaZabi Films. 

This year, 10 films were submitted to the pan-Canadian selection committeeand Drunken Birds [Les oiseaux ivres] was chosen as the film with the best chance of being nominated for this prestigious award,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director and CEO, Telefilm Canada. “Telefilm will support the films team on this exciting journey. This vote of confidence is a phenomenal springboard for these creators and a terrific opportunity for Canada to demonstrate the excellence of its film industry.”   

“It is a great honour for Sara Mishara and me to have our film Drunken Birds [Les oiseaux ivres] chosen to represent Canada in the Oscar race,” said Ivan Grbovic, director and co-writer. “It is a film with which we wanted to celebrate the power of film, while taking the audience on a journey through the beauty, absurdity and injustice of our lives today. We would like to share this honour with the rest of the film team, but also with the seasonal workers who leave their families every year to better their lives.”  

Drunken Birds [Les oiseaux ivres], which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in the Platform programwill be released on October15, 2021The film stars Jorge Antonio Guerrero, Hélène Florent, Claude Legault, Marine Johnson, Maxime Dumontier, Amaryllis Tremblay, Karl Walcott, Yoshira Escárrega, Gilberto Barraza, Normand DAmour and many others. 

So far, 15 countries have submitted their entries for the best international film. Last year93 countries submitted a film.


Willy’s quest to find Marlena, his lost love, takes him from Mexico to Canada, where he is hired as a seasonal worker at the Bécotte farm near Montréal. Several fates intertwine, worlds meet, tensions rise, and moments of magical realism arise during the long workdays. 

About Ivan Grbovic  

Ivan studied at Concordia University and the American Film Institute, and began his career as a director of photography before becoming a director. He has directed several music videos for major artists as well as three internationally acclaimed short films: La tête haute (2006), La chute (2009) and Les mots (2009). His first feature film, Romeo Eleven [Roméo Onze] (2011), won the prestigious Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. The film also won the Discovery Award at the Namur Film Festival. All his films have been selected for the Toronto International Film Festival. Drunken Birds [Les oiseaux ivres] is his second feature film. 

Photos of the film here. 

Canada in the Best International Feature Film (formerly Best Foreign Language Film) category at the Oscars 

In the history of the Oscars, eight Canadian films have been official nominees in the Best Foreign Language Film category: in 2013, Rebelle, by Kim Nguyen; in 2012, Monsieur Lazhar, by Philippe Falardeau and In Darkness, by Agnieszka Holland (a minority coproduction with Poland and Germany); in 2011, Incendies, by Denis Villeneuve; and, in 2007, Water, by Deepa Mehta. The list also includes three films by Denys Arcand: Le Déclin de l’empire américain, in 1987, Jésus de Montréal, in 1990 and, in 2004, Les Invasions barbares, the only Canadian film to have won the Oscar in this category. 

Selection process for the Best International Film category

Telefilm Canada coordinates and chairs the pan-Canadian Selection Committee, without voting right. The committee comprises some 20 members representing key government agencies and national film industry associations. It is responsible for choosing the film that will represent Canada at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which accepts only one film per country for the Best International Feature Film category. Submitted films must have been produced outside the United States in a language other than English and must have been theatrically exhibited in the submitting country for at least seven consecutive days between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. A shortlist of 10 films will be unveiled on December 21, 2021, and the chosen five official nominees will be announced on February 8, 2022. 

More information on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ rules


About Telefilm Canada 

Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canadas audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2012, the Talent Fund raises private donations to principally support emerging talent. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at




Joyce Richards
Advisor, Public Relations – English Market
Telefilm Canada

Judith Dubeau
Media relations in Canada
Ixions communications

Steven Raphael
U.S. Media Relations