Sep 24
EARLY ENTRIES TO OSCAR’S BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM by Jose N. Carreon  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Mon, Sep 24, 2012

Part 1

A total of 41 early entries—including Jun Robles Lana’s Bwakaw from the Philippines—have so far been submitted to the 85th Oscar Awards’ best foreign language film category.

Last year, 63 countries sent their entries for the category which is indicative of the vibrant film industry all over the world. An Iranian film, A Separation (in Persian) by Ashgar Farhadi, was declared the best foreign language film in the 84th Oscar Awards.

A Separation bested four other nominated films which included: Belgium’s Bullhead (in Dutch/French/ Limburgish) by Michael R. Roskam; Canada’s Monsieur Lazhar (in French) by Philippe Falardeau; Israel’s Footnote (in Hebrew) by Joseph Cedar; and Poland’s In Darkness (in Polish/German/Yiddish/ Ukrainian) by Agnieska Holland.

The country’s entry last year was Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (in Tagalog) by Marlon Rivera.

The AMPAS (Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) will announce the list of eligible submissions in October. Nine finalists will be shortlisted in mid-January next year and the final five nominees will be announced on January 24, 2013. The 85th Oscar Awards will take place on February 24, 2013.

The submitted entries are as follows (in alphabetical order by country):

Australia
Lore, directed by Cate Shortland
A German-set, German-language World War II survival story about five children whose Nazi parents are taken by the Allies. They endure a 500-mile trek to the safety of their grandmother’s house in Hosum Bay in the dying days of the Third Reich.

Austria
Amour, directed by Michael Haneke
The life of retired octogenarian music teachers, married for decades, is jolted when the wife suffers a debilitating stroke. The fiftyish daughter returns to share her parents’ emotional crisis.

Azerbaijan
Bata, directed by Ilgar Najaf
The heart-rending tale of an orphan boy befriended by an elderly man who loved—but lost—the boy’s grandmother long ago.

Bangladesh
Ghetuputra Komala, directed by Humayen Ahmed
The film is set 150 years ago when a musical trend swept through a village of Hobiyanj. Adolescent boys dressed as girls danced to the tune of Ghetu songs, thus giving them sexual overtones that affected the sexual mores in the community.

Belgium
Our Children, directed by Joachim Lafosse
The film is based on a real-life incident involving a woman who killed her five children.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Children of Sarajevo, directed by Aida Begic
The film centers on the fates of people picking up the pieces of their lives in post-war Sarajevo.

Bulgaria
Sneakers, directed by Valeri Yordanov and Ivan Vladimirov
Six youngters escape the dreary city for a long summer break on clean pristine beaches.

Cambodia
Lost Loves, Directed by Chhay Bora
The sinister story of a family under Khmer Rouge whose members are killed off one after another, until only the mother and her two young children survive.

Canada
War Witch, directed by Kim Nguyen
Shot entirely on location in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the film depicts the brutal reality of child soldiers.

Croatia
Cannibal Vegetarian, directed by Branko Schmidt
A very dark thriller about an abortionist faced with a very serious moral dilemma when one of his patients dies on the operating table.

Czech Republic
In the Shadow of the Horse, directed by David Ondricek
A political thriller set in the 50s tells the story of a work-a-day cop whose investigation on a jewelry theft case is taken over by the State Authority’s Zionist crime specialist as the Cold War dawns in
the republic.

Denmark
A Royal Affair, directed by Nikolaj Arcel
The story—set in the 18th century at the court of the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark—focuses on the romance between the queen and the royal physician.

Dominican Republic
Check Mate, directed by Jose Maria Cabral
Film tracks events that follow when a TV host receives a call from his family’s kidnappers while he is on the air.

Finland
Purge, directed by Antti Jokinen
Adapted from the novel of Sofi Oksanen, the film follows two women from different eras—one a 1990s Russian sex slave, the other a farm worker living in 1950s Estonia—connected by a disturbing throughline.

France
The Intouchables, directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache
The drama-comedy film focuses on the friendship between a wealthy aristocrat who became a paraplegic after a tragic accident and his young troubled caregiver.

Germany
Barbara, directed by Christian Petzold
The film tells the story of a female physician living in East Germany in the 1980s. Unhappy with the constant intrusions by Stasi officials, Barbara makes plans to leave for West Germany to be with her lover, but of course meets complications that make her second guess her desires.

Greece
Unfair World, directed by Filippos Tsitos
About a disillusioned policeman who sets out to distribute justice by his own humanitarian standards.

Hungary
Just the Wind, directed by Benedek Fliegauf
Based on the cold-blooded killings of six Roma families in Hungary between 2008 and 2009 when murder squads set fire to houses before gunning down the fleeing occupants as they tried to escape.

India
Barfi!, directed by Anurg Basu
The film tells the story of Barfi, a mute and deaf man in Darjeeling, West Bengal and his life-long relation with two women, one of whom is autistic.

Israel
Fill the Void, directed by Rama Burshtein
The film focuses on the life of the ultra-Orthodox Haredim Jewish community in Tel Aviv. The wealthy family of Rabbi Aharon grieves over the death of a daughter in childbirth. A younger sister is pressured by her mother to marry her deceased sister’s widower.

(Continued next week)


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