Oct 01
MORE ENTRIES TO OSCAR’S BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM by Jose N. Carreon  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Mon, Oct 1, 2012

PART 2

As of the end of September, a total of 65 entries had been submitted to the foreign language film category of the 85th Oscar Awards.

This month, the AMPAS will announce the list of eligible submissions. Nine of these entries will be shortlisted in mid-January, 2013 and the final five nominees will be announced on January 24, 2012. The 85th Oscar Awards night takes place on Feb. 24, 2013.

Last week, we already printed capsule write-ups on 20 of the early entries submitted by the individual countries. Hereunder are 21 other entries already submitted, including the entry from the Philippines, Bwakaw, starring Eddie Garcia and directed by Jun Robles Lana:

Albania
Pharmakon, directed by Joni Shanaj
The film is about a melancholy 25-year-old pharmacist, overshadowed by the achievements of his cancer specialist father, who dreams of devising a drug that will cure unhappiness.

Algeria
Zadana, directed by Said Ould Khelifa
This film is a researched account of freedom fighter Ahmed Zadana’s execution in 1956 which sparked the Battle of Algiers, Algeria’s fight for independence from French colonialists.

Argentina
Clandestine Childhood, directed by Benjamin Avila
The film is set during the guerilla group Monteneros’ counter-offensive in 1979 as they returned and launched terrorist attacks which ended in a complete failure. The story is told from the point of view of the son of a couple of Monteneros living in Cuba as he experiences the kid-napping of his mother and then brother.

Armenia
If Only Everyone, directed by Nataliya Belyauskene
The film is about the Artsakh War and is dedicated to Armenia’s independence and the 20th anniversary of the Armenian army. It stresses the truth that there are no winners in wars as innocent people die in these violent and brutal social upheavals.

Brazil
The Clown, directed by Selton Mello
The film tells the story of a father and son team of performing clowns who work with a traveling circus. An existential crisis hits the son who suddenly feels it is no longer funny being a clown, awakening a lifelong dream of having a place to live and an identity. He gives up the circus life and gets a regular job.

Chile
No, directed by Pablo Larrain
After 15 years of military rule in Chile, the public is asked to vote in the plebiscite of 1988 whether Gen. Pinochet should stay in power. The film’s hero, an advertising man, works as part of a team to create upbeat films and promotional materials to encourage the public to vote No to Pinochet leading the nation for another eight years while their advertising agency boss works for a Yes campaign.

China
Caught in the Web, directed by Chen Kaige
The film explores the infamous ‘human flesh search’ phenomenon in China—the conduct of massive researching using Internet media such as blogs and forums to expose individuals to public humiliation.

Colombia
El cartel de los Sapos, directed by Carlos Moreno
The drug crime thriller is based on the life story of former drug trafficker Andres Lopez.

Estonia
Mushrooming, directed by Toomas Hussar
The film is a black comedy about a trip into the woods gone wrong.

Georgia
Keep Smiling, directed by Rusudan Chkonia
The film weaves a wickedly funny tale of the hollowness of contem-porary Georgia as a group of desperate mothers battle it out on a TV show to win an apartment and $25,000 in cash. The contestants include a matronly cook expert, a sexy failed violinist and a politician’s beautiful wife who is not even a mother at all.

Hongkong
Life Without Principle, directed by Johnnie To
The film is a darkly comic tale on financial opportunism from a grass-roots level.

Iceland
The Deep, directed by Balthasar Komakur
The film delivers a rough-and-tumble take on one man’s miraculous shipwreck survival, inspired by true events that occurred off Iceland’s volcanic Westman Islands in 1984. The survivor returns home where he faces up to inquiring reporters and scientists trying to understand his superhuman feats.

Indonesia
Tiny Dancer, directed by Ilfa Isfansyah
The film tells the story of Rassus, a military officer, as he hunts for his young love whose magical dancing prowess led village elders to believe she is the next Rongget with special powers given by the goddess of dance.

Italy
Caesar Must Die, directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
The film dramatizes a group of prison inmates performing a version of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It used actual prison inmates as actors and the cast includes no professional thespians.

Japan
Our Homeland, Directed by Yong-hi Yang
Sent to North Korea as a teen by his fervently North-supporting father, a man returns to Tokyo for medical treatment after 25 years and finds it difficult to open up to his family, including his passionately anti-North sister.

Kazakhstan
Myn Bala, directed by Akam Satayev
This historical dramatic film depicts the overthrow of Zungharian oppressors and was made in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan independence from the Soviet Union.

Kenya
Nairobi Half Life, directed by David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga
The film is about a hopeful young man who leaves the poverty of the ‘ushago’ to make it as an actor in Nairobi but falls into a gang in the underworld riddled with double-crossers. He is forced to struggle to keep his heart and intentions in life pure.

Latvia
Gulf Stream Under the Iceberg, directed by Yevgeni Pashkevich
The film deals with the myth of Lilith who represents the eternal drama in the relationship of man and nature as Lilith is torn between her desire to give birth and to destroy. This erotic fairy tale shows Lilith traveling through time and space to fulfill her “mission’.

Macedonia
The Third Half, directed by Parko Mitrevski
The film follows the fortunes of the FC Madedonia soccer team and their German-Jewish coach who led them to victory in the Nazi soccer league. The plot involves a love affair between a rough diamond soccer player and a beautiful wealthy Jewish girl.

Mexico
After Lucia, directed by Michel Franco
The film describes the relationship between a widower—depressed by his wife’s death in an accident—and his 17-year-old daughter who helps him through an emotional crisis. But in her new school, she becomes a victim of bullying.

Morocco
Death for Sale, directed by Faouzi Bensaidi
Three desperate petty criminals try to flee a life of material and moral poverty in Tetonan, Northern Morocco, and none of them finds a way out.

(Continued next week)


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