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Dunkirk, filmed in the Nord, nominated for 8 Oscars

The American film Dunkirk, largely filmed in the north of France and directed by Christopher Nolan, has been nominated for eight Academy Awards (Oscars).

As its name suggests, the film focuses on the Dunkirk evacuations of 1940, which saw British Expeditionary Force soldiers trapped on the beaches in the north of France as they sought to escape the country away from the encroaching German army.

Much of the movie was filmed in northern France on the Dunkirk (Nord, Hauts-de-France) beaches, with a significant proportion of the action taking place on-site. The area’s looming sea, grey skies and endless sandbanks have been described as “an extra character” in the film itself.

Dunkirk (which was released under the French name for the area, “Dunkerque”, in French cinemas) has been nominated for eight awards by the American movie academy in the 90th year of the “Oscars” awards - the nickname by which the Academy Awards are more often known.

These are Best Picture, Best Director (Christopher Nolan), Best Original Music Score (Hans Zimmer), Best Cinematography (Hoyte van Hoytema), Best Film Editing (Lee Smith), Best Sound Mixing (Gary Rizzo et al), Best Sound Editing (Richard King et al) and Best Production Design (Nathan Crowley et al).

The film featured an all-star cast, including actors Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Fionn Whitehead, and popstar-turned-actor Harry Styles.

This many nominations puts Dunkirk just one place behind the most-nominated film of the year - The Shape of Water, by Guillermo del Toro.

As for Dunkirk itself, it is known as the world’s northernmost Francophone city (not including some small Canadian settlements in Quebec), and is today home to almost 10,000 people. Just 10km from the Belgian border, it was Flemish-French until the mid 20th century.

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