Jean-Jacques Annaud slams the Academy

15 Oct - French director Jean-Jacques Annaud expressed his frustration with the Academy Awards recently after his Sino-French film, "Wolf Totem", was dropped from the Best Foreign Language race for not being Chinese enough to represent China.

As reported on CRI News, on 12 October, the award-winning director made the announcement, saying that he was stupefied by the Academy's last minute move.

Calling the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences a "banana republic level of arbitrariness", Annaud accused Hollywood of a double standard.

"Why is it that actors are not part of the balance or the quota, and why is it that the producer, who is the initiating producer and in charge of 80 percent of the budget, is not considered on the list of people in control?" asked Annaud in an interview with Hollywood Reporter.

"So now do films have to have a director from the submitting country in order to compete? Or who exactly is in "creative control"?

According to the Academy, "Wolf Totem" was not illegible for the competition not only because director Annaud is French, but that director of photography Jean-Marie Dreujou, editor Reynald Bertrand, and American composer James Horner are all non-Chinese people who play a major role in the making of the movie.

This was a contradiction in itself, according to many critics, since Philippe Muyl's "The Nightingale", another Sino-French film, also had similar number of Frenchmen working behind the scene, but was deemed eligible as China's official entry in the category last year.

China had since replaced its entry with Han Yan's "Go Away, Mr. Tumor".

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