The Foreign Language Film competition for the 85th Annual Academy Awards officially entered its semi-final phase last Friday night, October 12 at the AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theatre as three committees began screening the film entries submitted by a record number of 71 countries.
Three committees divided into sections of Red, White and Blue will each view a third of the entries. Committee members (which can number into the hundreds) must see a set minimum of their group’s titles to validate their votes.
The six highest scoring movies move on to the next phase with three other films chosen by the small Foreign Language Executive The nine films will be previewed before the final five nominations for the Best Foreign Language categry are announced with the other Academy Award nominations on January 10th.
The Foreign Language initial screening program of all 71 films must be completed on December 17, the same day Oscar nomination ballots are mailed for other categories.
Here are the last entries to complete the 71 submitted for next year’s Oscar Awards (refer to the first three installments of this series for the other entries):
The Empty Home, directed by Nurbek Egen
The film is a surprising and touching micro-odyssey of a woman’s first step into the boundary of village life and modernity.
Ramin, directed by Audrius Stonys
The film is about the 75-year-old Georgian wrestler Ramin Lomsadze who once won seven matches in 55 seconds. The film follows the wrestler as he sets off on a journey to a remote Georgian village to seek out the girl he once loved and lost 50 years ago.
Bunohan, directed by Dain Iskandar Said
The film revolves around a Malaysan muay tai kickboxing star whose life gets complicated by the murky family and social environment of his home village which is fittingly named Bunohan or murder.
Already Famous, directed by Michelle Chong
The film is about a small town Malaysian girl who dreams of becoming a TV star in Singapore.
Made in Ash, directed by Iveta Grofova
The film is a raw look at a young Roma girl and her rapid descent into exploitation after she goes to the Czech Republic to work in a textile factory.
A Trap, directed by Nojc Gazvoda
A road movie about three best friends (a straight guy, a gay and a girl) who reunite for a road trip and discover how much they have grown apart.
Little One, directed by Darrell Roodt
The film tells the story of a young rape victim who is left for dead in a township near Johannesburg and rescued by a middle-aged woman. After rushing the girl to a hospital, the woman becomes entangled in her own investigation into the girl’s attack.
Pieta, directed by Kim Ki-duk
The story of a heartless man who has no living family members and whose job is to threaten debtors to repay his clients. One day, he receives a visit from a strange, middle-aged woman claiming she is his long-lost mother.
Biancanieves, directed by Pablo Berger
The film is a black-and-white homage to silent cinema that retells the Snow White tale, set in Seville in the 1920s about a feisty lady bull-fighter.
The Hypnotist, directed by Lasse Hallstrom
A psychologist is brought in by the police to help find a brutal killer. To do so, he must hypnotize the killer’s only surviving victim, something he swore to never do again.
Sister, directed by Ursula Meier
The film tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who lives with his older sister in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The boy—as they struggle to make ends meet—goes to the extent of stealing ski equipment from wealthy tourists and reselling them to teens in the valley.
Touch of the Light, directed by Chang Rong-ji
The film is a drama about the relationship between a blind pianist and a young woman who dreams of becoming a dancer.
Headshot, directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
A cop-turned-hitman is struck in the head by a bullet, still survives but now sees the world upside down.
Where the Fire Burns, directed by Ismail Gunes
The film is a harrowing story of a father’s mission to kill his teenaged daughter after she gets pregnant, bringing shame to the family. The mentally-tortured father slowly poisons his daughter in this biting social satire based on a true story.
Firecrosser, directed by Mykhailo Ilienko
The story of a Ukrainian-born Soviet pilot who goes through fascist captivity during the Second World War, becomes a Gulag prisoner and then an Indian tribal chief in Canada.
The Delay, directed by Rodrigo Pla
The film, inspired by actual events, centers on a harried woman with three school-age children and a senile father whom she decides to abandon on a park bench when she cannot cope with life’s problems anymore.
Rock, Paper, Scissors, directed by Hernan Jaber
Film relates how an innocent child’s game unveils a betrayal that will alter the lives of two families.
The Scent of Burning Grass, Directed by Nguyen Huru Muoi
The Vietnam War-theme drama is an adaptation from memoirs and diaries of four war veterans about the burning summer of 1972 in the ancient citadel of Quang Tri. The four university students volunteered to join the army and only one survived. The film also features the lone survivor’s present life after the war.
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