By noon today, September 30, twenty more films have been submitted or declared for the best foreign language film category of the Oscar awards slated next year. This brought to 44 the number of official nominees forwarded to the AMPAS. Sixty-five countries are expected to send their nominations this time around.
Other countries which have not submitted their nominations have October 3 as the deadline for the submission of all requirements for the nominated foreign language films.
The Philippines has already nominated—through the Oscar committee of the Film Academy of the Philippines—the film The Woman in the Septic Tank, starring Eugene Domingo and directed by Marlon Rivera.
Last week we printed the list of the early nominees, from Austria to the Philippines. Hereunder is the continuation of the country-by-country listing of the first 24 nominated entries (with storylines when available):
Poland—In Darkness (directed by Agnieszka Holland)
This film tells the story of Leopold Soha who risks his own life to save a dozen Jewish refugees from certain death. Initially only interested in his own good, the thief and burglar hides the refugees for 14 weeks in the sewers of the Nazi-occupied town of Lvov.
Portugal—Jose and Pilar (Miguel Goncalves Mendez)
Jose Saramago, Portugal’s famous novelist, and his wife Pilar, return home after an exhausting promotion tour to finish his final masterpiece. But the public demands more of him and he is dragged farther and farther away from the art he loves and devotes himself so much to. A funny, witty and touching portrait on the endurance of an artistic and humanistic spirit, on how it finds its strength in his his wife Pilar, and how they forge ahead together through the enormous pressures of being a very private man with a public persona.
Romania—Morgen (Marian Cresan)
No available storyline.
Russia—Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus (Nikita Mikhalkov)
1941. Five years have passed since the lives and destinies of Gen. Kotov, his wife Maroussia and their daughter Nadia, as well as those of Mitia and were irrevocably changed. During that time, the former Revolutionary hero Gen. Kotov was betrayed by Stalin, imprisoned, escaped the Gulag and fought at the front as a private. Maroussia underwent terror without her husband whom she believed had died. The daughter Nadia hid for five years, always proud of the valiant father whom she also believed is still alive.
Serbia—Montevideo, God Bless You! (Dragan Bjelogrlic)
This historical melodrama gives us a nostalgic view into the 1930s of Belgrade and resurrects the old times reminding us of a quite distinctive era when values and virtues were something very different from what they are today. That epoch comes to life and at times, the viewers are brought back to the cobblestone streets of Cubura, the birth of the radio and the growing trend of cabaret nightclubs and Ford T model cars just like the one owned by then soccer star Blagoje Mosa Marjanovic.
South Korea—The Front Line (Hun Jang)
Towards the end of the Korean War an uneasy ceasefire is ordered but out on the Eastern Front line of the Aerok hills, fierce fighting continues.
A race to capture a strategic point to determine a new border between the two Koreas is the ultimate prize. A bullet is then found in the body of a dead company commander of the South Korean army. Lt. Kang Sun Eun-Pyo of the Defense Security Command is ordered to go out into the Eastern front line and investigate the murder.When he arrives in the Aerok hills, he is surprised to find his old friend Kim Soo-Hyeok commanding troops there. Eun-Pyo believed Soo-Hyeok was dead. In their younger years, Soo-Hyeok was a meek student but he eventually became the leader of Aerok Company.
Sweden—Beyond (Pernilla August)
A drama set in 1970 Sweden focuses on a young woman’s experiences growing up in a home riddled with abuse and alcoholism.
Taiwan—Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Te-Sheng Wei)
During the Japanese rule of Taiwan, the Seediqs were forced to lose their own culture and give up their faith. Men were subject to harsh labor and kept from traditional hunting whereas women had to serve the Japanese policemen and their families by doing the household work and giving up their traditional weaving. Above all, they were forbidden to tattoo their faces. These tattoos were seen as the Seediqs’ traditional belief to transform themselves into Seediq Bale (true humans). Mona Rudao, the film’s protagonist, witnessed the repression by the Japanese over a period of 30 years. Sometime between autumn and winter of 1930, when the slave labor is at its harshest, a young Seediq couple are married and a joyful party is thrown. At the same time, a newly appointed Japanese policeman goes on his inspection tour to this tribe. Mona Rudao’s first son, offers wine to the policeman.
Venezuela—The Rumble of the Stones (Alejandro Bellame Palacios)
Delia is a young woman who survived a river-flood 10 years ago. She lives with her mother and her two sons. They have been forced to live in a poor neighborhood of Caracas. She works hard trying to rebuild their lives but she soon discovers that her sons William and Santiago are exposed to the violent and dangerous environment they live in. And Raiza, the gandmother, is the living image of hopelessness. The four characters will show us that the hope of reconstruction is possible because the force of love, despite all, keeps them united.
(Next week: 20 more entries)
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