Thirteen more countries have submitted their film entries to the 86th Oscar Awards Foreign Language Film category as of today, bringing the total to 20 submissions.
Last week, the seven early bird entries were: Nepal’s Soongava: Dance of the Orchids by Subarna Thapa; Greece’s Boy Eating the Bird’s Food by Ektoras Lygizos; Hungary’s The Notebook by Janos Szasz; Romania’s Child Pose by Calin Peter Netzer; Germany’s Two Lives by Georg Maas; Montenegro’s Bad Dest9ny by Drasko Durovic; and Venezuela’s Breach in the Silence by Luis and Andres Rodriguez.
The 13 latter submissions are as follows:
Austria—The Wall by Julian Roman Polsler
Adapted from the cult novel The Wall by Marlen Haushofer, the film tells the story of a woman suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible wall that literally transforms her into a feminist Robinson Crusoe in a sinister science fiction parable about powerlessness. Austria was Best Foreign Language Film winner in 2007 for The Counterfeiters by Stefan Ruzowitzky and 2012 for Amour by Michael Haneke. It has only two previous nominations in 1986 for ’38 Vienna before the Fall by Wolfgang Gluck and in 2008 for Revanche by Gotz Spielmann.
Bulgaria—The Color of Chameleon by Emil Hristov
The film is a darkly comic and compelling tale of a Communist-era agent who builds a parallel spy network after his dismissal from state service. Bulgaria’s submission in 2009—The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner by Stephan Kamandarov—reached the January shortlist.
Chile—Gloria by Sebastian Lelio
Set in modern-day Santiago, Gloria centers on a spirited 58-year-old divorcee looking for love and adventure who refuses to retreat from life, frequenting nightclubs and meeting a charming former naval officer in his 60s who sweeps her off her feet. But they are faced with the realities of their lives and their pasts. This is Chile’s 18th submission but it garnered its first nomination just last year with No, a film directed by Pablo Larrain.
Dominican Republic—Who’s the Boss? by Ronni Castillo
The film tells the story of Alex and Natalie, both of whom fail to take any of their relationships seriously. After three months, they break off their respective relationships and move on to the next partner. However, when they meet one another, they find out that the seizing control of the relationship is more difficult than they anticipate and they battle it out to see who’s in charge. This is the country’s sixth submission and it has not yet been nominated.
Finland—The Disciple by Ulrika Bengts
The 1939-set drama centers on the friendship and rivalry between two teenage boys living on an isolated island in the Baltic Sea. Finland got a nomination in 2002 for Man Without a Past by Aki Kaurismaki.
Georgia—In Bloom by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross
The film is a coming-of-age drama set in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in 1992 during a post-Soviet civil war about two young girls Eka and Natia planning to leave childhood behind as they ignore societal customs and work to escape their turbulent family lives. The is the 12th submission by Georgia which was successful in bagging a nomination in 1996 with its first ever submission—A Chef in Love, directed by Nana Dzhordzhadze.
Japan—The Grat Passage by Yuya Ishii
The film is a love story about a struggling salesman who lands the job of editing a 240,000-word dictionary, the Daitokai — The Great Passage.After falling for his landlady’s daughter, he is asked by the chief editor to write a definition of the word “love.” Departures by Yojiro Takita won the best foreign language film award for Japan in 2008, the nation’s first triumph in the category since the 1950s when three Japanese films won honorary awards from the Oscar, namely 1951’s Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa, 1954’s Gates of Heell by Teinosuke Kiwagasa and 1955’s Samurai, The Legend of Musashi by Hiroshi Inagaki. Japan already boasts of 11 nominations and got into the January shortlist once in 2010.
Luxembourg—Blind Spot by Christophe Wagner
The intrigue kicks off with a cop being murdered and develops as a complex and smart game of manipulation where nothing and no one are what they seem. Charismatic and mysterious Inspector Hastert takes on his last case before retirement : investigating on the death of a fellow cop. He gets the help of restless and resentful Olivier, the brother of the departed cop. Corruption, false appearances and make-believes are on the menu and that’s just the beginning. This is Luxembourg’s 10th submission and had not been nominated.
Serbia—Circles by Srdan Golubovic
The film begins with an act of brutal aggression against Haris, a Muslim civilian, by three Serbian soldiers in 1993. The act was witnessed by another soldier, Marko, whose intervention brings about his own death. The film then moves forward to 2008 when, long after the war ends, its wounds are still open.
It follows the interlocking stories of three survivors: Marko’s father, who is offered help rebuilding a war-damaged church by one of his son’s killers; Marko’s friend, a surgeon, who is faced with performing a lifesaving operation on another killer; and Haris, now living in Germany, who has a unique opportunity to repay his debt to his savior. This is Serbia’s 8th submission and it reached the January shortlist in 2007 for the Trap by Srdan Golubovic.
Singapore—Ilo Ilo by Anthony Chen
The film centers on Jiale, a spoilt Singapore schoolboy who runs rings around his exasperated teachers and long-suffering parents, pregnant mother Hwee Leng and her newly unemployed husband Teck . When a timid new Filipino domestic worker, Teresa , moves into the family flat, the unruly brat instantly begins defying and bullying her. But beneath her placid surface, Terry proves a smart and resilient addition to the family. Becoming confidante to both father and son, she slowly earns respect and affection from Jiale, unwittingly entering a frosty cold war of territorial jealousy with his mother. This is Singapore’s 7th submission and has never been nominated.
South Korea—Juvenile Offender by Kang Yi-kwan
Juvenile Offender is about a teenage criminal who reunites with his mother who gave him up at birth. Ji-gu is a 16-year-old juvenile offender under probation who lives with his only known relative – his grandfather who is sick in bed all the time with severe diabetic complications. His only interest in life is his sweet new girlfriend Sae-rom. One day, he gets caught after committing burglary and is sent to the juvenile reformatory. His grandfather died. Ji-gu is shocked when he learns that his mother is satrill alive. He and his young mother try to make up for their time lost after his release. Ji-gu soon realizes that his mother is much too young just like himself and he comes to understand why she had to leave him right after giving birth. But when Ji-gu falls into a similar situation with his girlfriend, his mother whom he thought would understand is appalled at the news which creates a conflict between the two. Thie is South Korea’s 25th submission without a single nomination.
Sweden—Eat, Sleep, Die by Gabriela Pichler
The film centers on 20-year-old woman who lives with her father in a small village in Sweden and loses her job at a factory. While the job is utterly routine, Rasa has developed camaraderie with her fellow workers, and she’s not unhappy. But when the owner of the factory announces layoffs, Rasa’s livelihood is endangered. Rasa happens to be the chief source of support for her father, who has a number of health problems that keep him from working. Sweden actually holds three best foreign language film trophies courtesy of Ingmar Bergman for his films The Virgin Spring (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961) and Fanny and Alexander (1983). It has also 11 nominations and hit the January shortlist in 2008 (for Everlasting Moments by Jan Troell) and 2010 (for Simple Simon by Andreas ohman).
Turkey—The Dream of a Butterfly by Yilmaz Erdogan
The film takes place in a town on the Black Sea in Turkey in the early 1940s. A new law has led to the conscription of most of the men into hard labor in the mines. In spite of all the misery in their country, two lively young men Rustu and Mustaffer dream only of one day seeing their poems published in the renowned literary magazine Varlik. Both Rustu and Mustaffer fall in love with Suzan, a schoolgirl who is still under the watchful eye of her father. The two men compete playfully for her attention with their poetry. This is the 20th submission of Turkey and it got into the January shortlist in 2008 for Three Monkeys by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
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