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Canada’s Best International Feature Film Academy Award Submission

Telefilm Canada is the national organization in Canada deemed eligible by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to organize a selection committee to recommend a film to submit to represent Canada in the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars.

As per the 2023 update to the AMPAS guidelines, this committee is made up of Canadian citizens and must include at least 50% artists and/or craftspeople from the motion picture industry.

Eligibility Criteria

To participate in this selection process, a film must have been released theatrically in Canada, for a period of seven consecutive days, in 35 mm, 70 mm or Digital Cinema format, between December 1 and October 31 of the following year. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences must be informed and receive all the materials of the selected film by no later than October 2. 

For more information on the rules and regulations for participation in the Best International Feature Film category, consult the rules and regulations on the Academy’s website, under the Complete Rules, specifically Rule 15. 

Nahéma Ricci, Paul Doucet, Sophie Deraspe and Benoît Gouin during the 2019 Canada’s Choice press conference. Antigone, directed by Deraspe, was selected as the Canadian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.

Film Submissions

Telefilm issues a Call for Entries for films that fit the criteria above to submit for consideration of the Pan-Canada Selection Committee. Telefilm also reaches out to films known to our internal teams as potentially eligible by connecting with the Cultural Portfolio team and reviewing data on theatrical release and festival selections

The pan-Canadian Selection Committee

As the appointed non-voting chair of the committee, Telefilm Canada organizes the annual pan-Canadian Selection Committee for Canada’s submission to the Best International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards.  

The committee make-up is reviewed on a regular basis to meet Academy rules. 

Telefilm Canada asks participating agencies to select a delegate to act as their representative. 

Agencies must follow Academy regulations and Code of Conduct when choosing their representative: 

  • The jury must be made up of at least 50% artists and craftspeople currently active in the motion picture industry;
  • Delegates must be Canadian citizens; 
  • The delegate must not have been involved with films eligible to be submitted (fiction feature films with a non-English or predominantly non-English track, released in its native country between December 1st and October 31st of the following year). Should a delegate have a conflict of interest, they are recused from the committee and the member agency may replace them if time allows; 
  • The delegate should be functionally bilingual in both French and English; 
  • Participation on the Committee is on a voluntary basis and members are not eligible for compensation. Delegates receive access to a secure screening platform to view all films before the vote at the end of August. 

Voting Process

Jury members must screen all submissions before participating in a virtual conference to evaluate and vote on which film will best represent Canada at the Oscars.  Jurors are encouraged to consider the quality of the films, as well as their international competitiveness.  

Telefilm organizes a conference call with the Committee at the end of August to vote for the Canadian submission to the Academy Awards. Should there not be a clear majority (50%+1 vote) following the first round of voting, subsequent discussion and voting continues until a clear majority is reached. For this reason, it is required that all members of the committee participate for the duration of the call.


After the vote ends, Telefilm’s CEO calls the film selected to inform them of their selection. 

In the afternoon, Telefilm holds a Zoom press conference (under embargo) with the film team and Telefilm’s CEO where select / invited media can ask questions. Telefilm issues a press release, and the news is shared widely.