Aki Kaurismäki abandons his long boycott against Academy Awards
Le Havre is the favourite candidate to represent Finland at next year's Oscars
Academician and film director Aki Kaurismäki’s long boycott against the Oscars has come to an end.
Kaurismäki’s most recent film Le Havre is on the pre-selection list of 25 films from among which Finland’s Oscar nominee will be chosen in mid-September.
”Permission was asked for, and Le Havre may be included. That is the message from the distribution company”, says Tero Koistinen, the chairman of the expert jury that will select Finland’s candidate.
In the spring of 2003, Kaurismäki issued a ”personal cultural boycott” against the United States.
”As the United States now has a Democrat president and its army has been withdrawn from Iraq, there is no longer any reason for boycotting, and neither is there any obstacle for Le Havre to take part in the pre-selection of Finland’s Oscar nominee”, Kaurismäki writes in his e-mail message to Helsingin Sanomat.
Kaurismäki, 54, has been shunning the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for many years. In the autumn of 2002 he gave in, in order to promote the distribution of his movie in the United States.
When The Man Without a Past was officially among the five final nominees for Best Foreign-Language Picture in 2003, Kaurismäki refused to attend the Oscar Gala.
The then Minister of Culture Kaarina Dromberg tried in vain to persuade the director to attend.
”We cannot attend the Oscar Gala at the same time as the United States government is making preparations for a crime against humanity because of shameless economic interests”, Kaurismäki wrote to the Academy in March 2003. The Iraq War was just about to begin under the administration of President George W. Bush.
The next time Kaurismäki’s boycott made the headlines was in the autumn of 2006, when Lights in the Dusk was chosen to be Finland’s nominee in the Best Foreign-Language Film category without his permission. Kaurismäki refused the nomination, and Finland was left without a nominee.
At the moment, Le Havre - a comedy drama written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki - is the favourite candidate to become Finland’s Oscar nominee.
The film received the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Other candidates include Lapland Odyssey directed by Dome Karukoski and Rare Exports directed by Jalmari Helander.
Finland’s Oscar nominee will be chosen by an expert jury, the members of which include for example directors, producers, musicians, and production designers.
The 25 documentaries and full-length movies that have premiered between October 2010 and September 2011 are all eligible candidates.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Aki Kaurismäki refuses to allow Oscar nomination (19.10.2006)
Kaurismäki´s Le Havre wins International Critics´ Prize at Cannes (23.5.2011)
Aki Kaurismäki (Wikipedia)
Le Havre (IMDb)
Lapland Odyssey (IMDb)
Rare Exports (IMDb)