Press Release from the Lantern Group

Screen Australia today announced that feature film Samson & Delilah is Australia’s official entry for nomination consideration for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.

To be eligible for consideration for the Best Foreign Language Film Award, a film must have been released in its country of origin for at least seven days and is defined by predominantly non-English dialogue. Each country can submit one film for nomination consideration. In 2009 there were two eligible Australian films: Van Diemen’s Land, which is largely in Gaelic, and Samson & Delilah. A committee of active industry professionals selected Samson & Delilah as the Australian film to be entered.

Written and directed by Warwick Thornton and produced by Kath Shelper, Samson & Delilah is shot predominantly in the Aboriginal language Warlpiri. It stars Marissa Gibson as Delilah and Rowan McNamara as Samson.

Samson & Delilah won the Caméra d’Or for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and screened at the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival in September. It will have its UK premiere at the London Film Festival in October and begins its theatrical release in France on 25 November.

The film is still screening in Australian cinemas after 20 weeks and to date has taken $3.17 million, making it the highest-grossing Australian film of the year.

The film releases theatrically in New Zealand this week.

Samson & Delilah was financed by Screen Australia, Screen NSW (NSW Film and Television Office), Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Adelaide Film Festival. The film is being distributed in Australia by Footprint Films in association with Transmission and Paramount Films. Internationally it is represented by French sales agent Elle Driver.

The 82nd Academy Award’s nominations will be announced on 2 February 2010, with the awards presented
on 7 March.

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