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Oscar Watch: South Korea's 'Pieta,' Belgium's 'Our Children' and Norway's 'Kon-Tiki' Join Growing List of Foreign Oscar Contenders

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 14, 2012 at 2:56PM

In advance of the October 1 Oscar deadline, the official foreign language submissions are coming fast and furious from around the world.
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"Pieta"
"Pieta"

In advance of the October 1 Oscar deadline, the official foreign language submissions are coming fast and furious from around the world.

-Fresh from its Venice Golden Lion win and Toronto screenings, "Pieta," directed by Kim Ki-duk, has been submitted by South Korea as its official foreign language submission.

-Belgium has selected Joachim Lafosse's "Our Children" as its official submission. The film played at Cannes in May, and garnered a Best Actress Un Certain Regard award for Emilie Dequenne as a young mother caught between two men. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as "an arresting portrait of one woman's gradual slide towards the unspeakable... [a] tightly wound study of domestic malaise." (Trailer below.)

-"Kon-Tiki," Norwegian box office hit and true story of explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl who crossed the Pacific Ocean on a wooden raft in 1947, is Norway's official entry. Co-directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning, the film recently played at TIFF. It is the most expensive Norwegian production ever made at $16 million. (Trailer below.)

-Japan's entry, selected on September 5, is Yang Yong-hi's "Homeland," a Berlin title following a South Korean man (Arata lura) who returns to Japan after 25 years in exile in North Korea. More here. (Trailer below.)

-Annemarie Jacir's "When I Saw You," which recently debuted at Toronto, is the Palestinian Oscar entry. The film sold at TIFF to Match Factory for worldwide rights, and follows an eccentric young boy who escapes from a Palestinian refugee camp in 1967 Jordan. (Trailer below.)

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Awards, Best Foreign-Language Film, Toronto International Film Festival, Oscars, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.