Nine out of 71 films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 85th Academy Awards. The Philippines’ entry, Bwakaw, an Eddie Garcia-starrer directed by Jun Lana, failed to make it to the shortlist.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
1. 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. The film won the top award, the Palme d’Or, during the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival.
2. Canada, “War Witch,” Kim Nguyen, director
Shot entirely on location in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the film depicts the brutal reality of child soldiers.
3. Chile, “No,” Pablo Larraín, director
After 15 years of military rule in Chile, the public is asked to vote in a plebiscite of 1988 whether Gen. Pinochet should stay in power. The film’s hero, an adver-tising 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.
4. Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” Nikolaj Arcel, director
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. Mikel Folsgaard won the best actor award while Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg won for best screenplay during the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.
5. France, “The Intouchables,” Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
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.
6. Iceland, “The Deep,” Baltasar Kormákur, director
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.
7. Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors
The true story of Norwegian explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl who in 1974, with five other scientists, sailed across the Pacific Ocean—more than 4,000 miles from South America to the Polynesian Islands—on a wooden raft to prove ancient tribes could also have made the journey.
8. Romania, “Beyond the Hills,” Cristian Mungiu, director
Story of two girls reunited after one returns home from Germany. Alina comes back to Romania to rekindle her relationship with her childhood friend Voichita who, while Alina was away, found God and joined the local monastery as a novice.
9. Switzerland, “Sister”, Ursula Meier, director
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 re-selling them to teens in the valley. This film was a Special Silver Bear award winner during the 62nd Berlin Filmfest.
The Foreign Language Film nominations for 2012 were again determined in two phases.
The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 71 eligible films between mid-October and December 17. The group’s top six choices were later augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, to constitute the shortlist.
The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles. They will spend Friday, January 4, through Sunday, January 6, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.
The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
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