Director Jacques Audiard reacts after receiving his Grand Prix award for the film Un Prophete during the award ceremony of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 24, 2009. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Jacques Audiard's prison drama A Prophet will be France's bid for an foreign Oscar nomination slot for the 2010 Academy Awards, the French film organization CNC said Thursday.

Prophet stars first-time actor Tahar Rahim as an errant, illiterate youth who lands in prison and makes his way into the world of a Corsican gang.

The film, which won the Grand Prize at this year's Cannes festival, will represent Gaul in the pre-nomination race.

Critically acclaimed after premiering in Cannes in May, Prophet was released in France on August 26 and already has sold nearly 800,000 tickets in the territory.

The film was chosen by a committee appointed by Cultural Minister Frederic Mitterand, including Cesars Academy president Alain Terzian, Festival de Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux, president of the CNC's Avance sur Recettes (Selective Aid) commission Florence Malraux and directors Jean-Jacques Annaud, Costa-Gavras and Regis Wargnier.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced February 2.