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Sixty-three Films Eligible for Foreign Language Oscar, Leading Contenders

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 13, 2011 at 8:48AM

Of the final sixty-three countries that have submitted their official Oscar entries in the Foreign Language Film category, many have been seen on the festival circuit. Screenings will soon be scheduled for various foreign language committees, which will eventually narrow the list to the final five to be announced on January 24. The first committees see groups of films and must see a certain percentage to vote; branch chief Mark Johnson chooses an uber-committee to add three films to an initial list of six and then vote on the final five nominations. Thus high-brow movies that may not play to the bigger group can be added. The prime contenders based on previous nominations or and/or critical response so far are:
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Thompson on Hollywood

Of the final sixty-three countries that have submitted their official Oscar entries in the Foreign Language Film category, many have been seen on the festival circuit. Screenings will soon be scheduled for various foreign language committees, which will eventually narrow the list to the final five to be announced on January 24. The first committees see groups of films and must see a certain percentage to vote; branch chief Mark Johnson chooses an uber-committee to add three films to an initial list of six and then vote on the final five nominations. Thus high-brow movies that may not play to the bigger group can be added. The prime contenders based on previous nominations or and/or critical response so far are:

Zhang Yimou's $90-million Nanking Massacre period drama Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale (seeking North American distribution), which is a bigger-budget entry than usual from China; France's Declaration of War from Valérie Donzelli (IFC); Greek sex drama Attenberg (pictured, Strand), directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari, which is also up for Europe's LUX prize; Iran's A Separation (SPC), from Asghar Farhadi; Israel's Footnote (SPC), from Cannes screenplay award winner Joseph Cedar; Venice special jury prize-winner Terraferma (seeking North American distribution), directed by Italy's Emanuele Crialese; Lebanon's Where Do We Go Now? (SPC), directed by Nadine Labaki; Mexico's Miss Bala (Twentieth Century Fox), from Gerardo Naranjo; Poland's In Darkness (SPC), directed by Agnieszka Holland and Sweden's Beyond (seeking North American distribution), from actress-turned-director Pernilla August, which stars Noomi Rapace. The full list of 2011 submissions is below:


Albania, "Amnesty," Bujar Alimani, director [not original submission, American director Joshua Marston's Albanian language The Forgiveness of Blood, which was shot in Albania]

Argentina, "Aballay," Fernando Spiner, director;

Austria, "Breathing," Karl Markovics, director;

Belgium, "Bullhead," Michael R. Roskam, director;

Bosnia and Herzegovina,"Belvedere," Ahmed Imamovic, director;

Brazil, "Elite Squad: The Enemy Within," José Padilha, director;

Bulgaria, "Tilt," Viktor Chouchkov, Jr., director;

Canada, "Monsieur Lazhar," Philippe Falardeau, director;

Chile, "Violeta Went to Heaven," Andrés Wood, director;

China, "The Flowers of War," Zhang Yimou, director;

Colombia, "The Colors of the Mountain," Carlos César Arbeláez, director;

Croatia, "72 Days," Danilo Serbedzija, director;

Cuba, "Havanastation," Ian Padrón, director;

Czech Republic,"Alois Nebel," Tomás Lunák, director;

Denmark, "Superclásico," Ole Christian Madsen, director;

Dominican Republic,"Love Child," Leticia Tonos, director;

Egypt, "Lust," Khaled el Hagar, director;

Estonia, "Letters to Angel," Sulev Keedus, director;

Finland, "Le Havre," Aki Kaurismäki, director;

France, "Declaration of War," Valérie Donzelli, director;

Georgia, "Chantrapas," Otar Iosseliani, director;

Germany, "Pina," Wim Wenders, director;

Greece, "Attenberg," Athina Rachel Tsangari, director;

Hong Kong,"A Simple Life," Ann Hui, director;

Hungary, "The Turin Horse," Béela Tarr, director;

Iceland, "Volcano," Rúnar Rúnarsson, director;

India, "Abu, Son of Adam," Salim Ahamed, director;

Indonesia, "Under the Protection of Ka'Bah," Hanny R. Saputra, director;

Iran, "A Separation," Asghar Farhadi, director;

Ireland, "As If I Am Not There," Juanita Wilson, director;

Israel, "Footnote," Joseph Cedar, director;

Italy, "Terraferma," Emanuele Crialese, director;

Japan, "Postcard," Kaneto Shindo, director;

Kazakhstan, "Returning to the ‘A,’" Egor Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky, director;

Lebanon, "Where Do We Go Now?" Nadine Labaki, director;

Lithuania, "Back to Your Arms," Kristijonas Vildziunas, director;

Macedonia, "Punk Is Not Dead," Vladimir Blazevski, director;

Mexico, "Miss Bala," Gerardo Naranjo, director;

Morocco, "Omar Killed Me," Roschdy Zem, director;

Netherlands, "Sonny Boy," Maria Peters, director;

New Zealand,"The Orator," Tusi Tamasese, director;

Norway, "Happy, Happy," Anne Sewitsky, director;

Peru, "October," Diego Vega and Daniel Vega, directors;

Philippines, "The Woman in the Septic Tank," Marlon N. Rivera, director;

Poland, "In Darkness," Agnieszka Holland, director;

Portugal, "José and Pilar," Miguel Gonçalves Mendes, director;

Romania, "Morgen," Marian Crisan, director;

Russia, "Burnt by the Sun 2: The Citadel," Nikita Mikhalkov, director;

Serbia, "Montevideo: Taste of a Dream," Dragan Bjelogrlić, director;

Singapore, "Tatsumi," Eric Khoo, director;

Slovak Republic,"Gypsy," Martin Sulík, director;

South Africa,"Beauty," Oliver Hermanus, director;

South Korea,"The Front Line," Jang Hun, director;

Spain, "Black Bread," Agusti Villaronga, director;

Sweden, "Beyond," Pernilla August, director;

Switzerland, "Summer Games," Rolando Colla, director;

Taiwan, "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale," Wei Te-sheng, director;

Thailand, "Kon Khon," Sarunyu Wongkrachang, director;

Turkey, "Once upon a Time in Anatolia," Nuri Bilge Ceylan, director;

United Kingdom,"Patagonia," Marc Evans, director;

Uruguay, "The Silent House," Gustavo Hernández, director;

Venezuela, "Rumble of the Stones," Alejandro Bellame Palacios, director;

Vietnam, "The Prince and the Pagoda Boy," Luu Trong Ninh, director.

This article is related to: Awards, Genres, Headliners, Foreign, Noomi Rapace


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