“Mustang,” Turkish-French director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s acclaimed debut, has been chosen to represent France at the 2016 Oscars.
Winner of Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight Europa Cinemas award, Ergüven’s drama centers on a quintet of teenage and pre-teen sisters in a remote seaside town who are locked in their grandmother’s house so that they can be married off as quickly as possible. The girls rebel and attempt to run away, hence the film’s title.
“Mustang,” a French co-production, beat out Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan” to be France’s submission for the Oscars’ Foreign Language Film category. The decision came just a few days after Turkey selected another film, “Sivas,” to be its submission despite “Mustang’s” higher international profile.
Ergüven’s film now joins a small group of women-directed Oscar submissions to look out for: Anna Muylaert’s “The Second Mother” (Brazil), Alanté Kavaïté’s “The Summer of Sangaile” (Lithuania), Kulikar Sotho’s “The Last Reel” and Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s “Goodnight Mommy” (Austria).