Tuesday, October 08, 2013

86th Academy Awards Foreign Language Film Submissions - Final

Yesterday the Academy published the final list and well, was a great surprise to find seventy-six (76) submissions to the foreign-language category which is a new record that believe will be hard to surpass. Nevertheless all three movies I was supposed to add yesterday are in list plus 2 more, one from Chad and another from Azerbaijan. No matter what category pundits say, it is a great honor for a film to be designed as the nation representative in the most popular/famous awards in the world and my wish is that awards TV show producers realize that a few extra minutes for the category will mean "something" to the millions that watch the show outside USA.

There are some significant changes from what was announced and what is in final AMPAS list. The first and most significant is Czech Republic submission is NO longer Agnieszka Holland's mini-series and has been substituted with a film by Jiri Menzel. The other is the film from Lebanon which is now by director Lara Saba. Post with female directors will be fixed by eliminating film from Czech Republic and adding film from Lebanon. Last I'm a bit surprised that the Swiss submission was accepted as had the impression that there was too much English but seems was just an impression.

The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center and televised live on the ABC Television Network.

We should expect that about eight days before the nominations (first/second week of January 2014) AMPAS will make the announcement of the shortlist of nine.

All festivals without a date are from 2013. Blue identifies female directors.

Afghanistan: ژمه Wajma (An Afghan Love Story), Barmak Akram (Sundance Screenwriting award)
Albania: Agon, Robert Budina
Argentina: Wakolda (The German Doctor), Lucía Puenzo (Cannes Un Certain Regard)
Australia: The Rocket, Kim Mordaunt (Berlinale Crystal Bear Generation Kplus and Tribeca)
Austria: Die Wand (The Wall), Julian Pölsler (Berlinale12)
Azerbaijan: Çölçü (Steppe Man), Shamil Aliyev

Bangladesh: টেলিভিশন (Television), Mostofa Sarwar Farooki
Belgium: The Broken Circle Breakdown, Felix van Groeningen (Berlinale)
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Epizoda u životu berača željeza (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker), Danisa Tanovića (Berlinale Jury Grand Prix winner)
Brazil: O Som ao Redor (Neighbouring Sounds), Kleber Mendonça Filho (Rotterdam 2012)
Bulgaria: Цветът на хамелеона Cvetat Na Hameleona (The Color of the Chameleon), Emil Hristov (Stockholm, Thessaloniki, Toronto FF)

Cambodia: L'image manquante (The Missing Picture), Rithy Panh (documentary) (Cannes Un Certain Regard winner)
Canada: Gabrielle, Louise Archambault (Locarno Audience Award)
Chad: GriGris, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Cannes)
Chile: Gloria, Sebastián Lelio (Berlinale)
China: 一九四二 Yi jiu si er (Back to 1942), Xiaogang Feng (Rome FF)
Colombia: La Playa DC, Juan Andrés Arango Garcia (Cannes 2012 Un Certain Regard)
Croatia: Halimin put (Halima's Path), Arsen A. Ostojic (2012 Tallinn and Pula)
Czech Republic: Donšajni (The Don Juans aka Skirt Chasers), Jirí Menzel (Montreal WFF)

Denmark: Jagten (The Hunt), Thomas Vinterberg (Cannes 2012)
Dominican Republic: ¿Quién manda? (Who's the Boss), Ronny Castillo

Ecuador: Mejor No Hablar (De Ciertas Cosas) (The Porcelain Horse), Javier Andrade (Warsaw IFF)
Egypt: الشتا إللى فات El sheita elli fat (Winter of Discontent), Ibrahim El-Batout (Stockholm and Dubai IFF 2012)
Estonia: Free range/Ballaad maailma heakskiitmisest (Free Range), Veiko Õunpuu

Finland: Lärjungen (The Disciple), Ulrika Bengts (Montreal World FF)
France: Renoir, Gilles Bourdos (Cannes 2012 Un Certain Regard)

Georgia: გრძელი ნათელი დღეები Grzeli nateli dgeebi (In Bloom), Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß (Won Heart of Sarajevo for Best Film at SarajevoFF, Berlinale, Hong Kong FF)
Germany: Zwei Leben (Two Lives), Judith Kaufmann and Georg Maas
Greece: Το αγόρι τρώει το φαγητό του πουλιού To Agori Troei to Fagito tou Pouliou (Boy Eating The Bird's Food) by Ektoras Lygtizos. (Karlovy Vary Festival)

Hong Kong: 一代宗师 Yi dai zong shi (The Grandmaster), Kar Wai Wong (Berlinale)
Hungary: A nagy füzet (The Notebook), János Szász, (Crystal Globe for Best Film at 2013 Karlovy Vary)

Iceland: Hross í oss (Of Horses and Men), Benedikt Erlingsson (San Sebastian IFF)
India: Gujarati (The Good Road), Gyan Correa (Biennale Venice Days)
Indonesia: Sang Kiai, Rako Prijanto
Iran: Le passé (The Past), Asghar Farhadi (Cannes)
Israel: בית לחם (Bethlehem), Yval Adler
Italy: La Grande Belleza (The Great Beauty), Paolo Sorrentino (Cannes)

Japan: 舟を編む Fune wo amu (The Great Passage), Yûya Ishii

Kazakhstan: Шал Shal (Old Man aka Shal), Ermek Tursunov

Latvia: Mammu, es tevi mīlu (Mother, I Love You), Janis Nords (Berlinale Grand Prix Generation Kplus)
Lebanon: قصة ثواني Blind Intersections, Lara Saba (Dubai FF)
Lithuania: Pokalbiai rimtomis temomis (Conversations on Serious Topics), Giedre Beinoriūte (documentary)
Luxembourg: Doudege Wénkel (Angle Mort) (Blind Spot), Christophe Wagner

Mexico: Heli, Amat Escalante (Cannes)
Moldova: Toti Copiii Domnului (All God's Children), Adrian Popovici
Montenegro: As pik – loša sudbina (Ace of Spades - Bad Destiny), Draško Đurović (Sarajevo FF)
Morocco: يا خيل الله Les chevaux de Dieu (Horses of God), Nabil Ayouch (Cannes 2012)

Nepal: सुनगाभा Soongava (Soongava: Dance of the Orchids), Subarna Thapa (Montreal World Film Festival)
Netherlands: Borgman, Alex van Warmerdam (Cannes)
New Zealand: Tuakiri Huna (White Lies), Dana Rotberg
Norway: Jeg er din (I Am Yours), Iram Haq

Pakistan: زندہ بھاگ Zinda Bhaag, Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi
Palestine: Omar, Hany Abu-Assad (Cannes Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize winner)
Peru: El Limpiador (The Cleaner), Adrián Saba (San Sebastian IFF 2012)
Philippines: Transit, Hannah Espia (Pusan IFF)
Poland: Walesa. Czlowiek z nadziei (Walesa. Man of Hope), Andrzej Wajda (Biennale)
Portugal: Linhas de Wellington (Lines of Wellington), Valeria Sarmiento (Biennale 2012)

Romania: Poziţia Copilului (Child's Pose), Călin Peter Netzer, (Golden Bear for Best Film at 2013 Berlinale)
Russia: Сталинград (Stalingrad), Fedor Bondarchuk

Saudi Arabia: وجدة‎ Wadjda, Haifaa Al-Mansour (Biennale 2012 and Rotterdam IFF)
Serbia: Кругови Krugovi (Circles), Srdan Golubović (Berlinale and Sundance)
Singapore: 爸媽不在家 Ilo Ilo, Anthony Chen (Camera d'Or Cannes)
Slovakia: Môj pes Killer (My Dog Killer), Mira Fornay (Winner of Tiger Award at Rotterdam IFF)
Slovenia: Razredni sovražnik (Class Enemy), Rok Bicek (Biennale Critics' Week)
South Africa: Die Vier Hoeke (Four Corners), Ian Gabriel
South Korea: 범죄소년 Beom-joe-so-nyeon (Juvenile Offender), Yi-kwan Kang (Tokyo IFF)
Spain: 15 años y un día (15 Years and One Day), Gracia Querejeta (Malaga Golden Biznaga winner)
Sweden: Äta Sova Dö (Eat Sleep Die), Gabriella Pichler (Biennale12)
Switzerland: More Than Honey, Markus Imhoof (documentary) (Viennale)

Taiwan: 失魂 (Soul), Mong-Hong Chung
Thailand: เคาท์ดาวน์ (Countdown), Nattawut Poonpiriya
Turkey: Kelebeğin Rüyası (The Butterfly's Dream), Yilmaz Erdogan

UK: Metro Manila, Sean Ellis (Sundance FF)
Ukraine: Параджанов Paradjanov, Serge Avedikian and Olena Fetisova (Karlovy Vary IFF)
Uruguay: Anina, Alfredo Soderguit (Berlinale and BAFICI Audience Award winner)

Venezuela: Brecha en el Silencio (Breach in the Silence), Luis and Andrés Rodríguez

Watch trailers plus info @MOC


9/7/13 It's the second time that New Zealand sends a movie to Oscar.
9/13/13 It's the FIRST time ever that Saudi Arabia sends a movie to Oscar and more, it is directed by a woman. (last is sic from Twitter) By the way, there are NO movie theaters in Saudi Arabia, they are forbidden; so to watch film has to be only on TV or DVD.
9/18/13 According to today's news Vietnam is NOT sending film this year.
9/23/13 Macedonia is NOT sending film this year.
10/7 It's the FIRST time ever that Moldova sends a movie to Oscar and is the first time that Montenegro submits film as an independent country.

Map works perfectly in Chrome. Other browsers might not show the trailer -sometimes-.  With all new Google changes I can confirm that if you have Windows 8 you will NOT see anything embed to Google Maps, no matter what browser you use.  Shame, but will finish map with all the info and seems will be the last one I make.

View 86th Academy Awards Foreign Language Film Submissions in a larger map

My Comments

September 26
Next Tuesday at 5pm PT is the category deadline and less than one week before we already have fifty-eight (58) films submitted to Oscar 2014. There are a few countries that still have to announce their submission like China, Israel, Uruguay, Iran, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Indonesia, Malaysia and maybe more countries. But in my opinion the Oscar winner finally was submitted today as is the movie that I am giving My Oscar this year, Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt.

I am as passionate about The Hunt as was last year with Amour but my passion is not blind and know that Academy members tend to prefer less controversial story subjects; but if they wish to reward an excellent director that created a tense true masterpiece with out of the ordinary actors' performances -which is what movies should be all about- then they have to recognize that this film fits their high standards no matter the story it tells.

There are a few movies that have already seen and from those my huge surprise comes from a territory that decided to submit a film by a master filmmaker, Wong Kar-wai. The Grandmaster is a beautiful to watch movie that absolutely has Wong Kar-wai's particular visual style but unfortunately in story was missing a romance (any romance like love for martial arts) so to be honest film is not 100% excellent Wong Kar-wai nor is 100% "regular" martial arts film -which disappointed many viewers that enjoy the genre. Nevertheless is good to see a great director in the competition and I'm curious to find if film makes it to the shortlist of 9 and gets a nod.

Sometimes I wish the category will be more prominent within the televised show as imagine the possibility that in one "red carpet", in one venue at the same time you are able to see so many non-American outstanding actors together. Well, this year if a couple of films get nominated and reality was different, we could see together Liv Ullmann, Catherine Deneuve and Isabel Huppert. Wow! And of course, what I still consider the best actor in the world: Tony Leung. Still there is one actor that before did not care much about him but lately his interpretations have become quite outstanding, Mads Mikkelsen and as many of you know, I'm truly crazy about Toni Servillo performances. Can you imagine all these people together in one place at the same moment? Fantastic dream.

As most of the blog loyal readers know I like everything by Ashghar Farhadi and was hoping that France could submit his latest film, The Past. Unfortunately France went with a very "safe" bet when decided to send a film that tells the story of the Renoir father and son -if you do not know who is Auguste Renoir (the painter) son then let me tell you that Jean Renoir is one the most famous "Hollywood" directors of all times. Nevertheless today news tell us that Iran is considering 12 films and seems that The Past is being considered; as film has an Iranian strong intellectual property -the director- then perhaps qualifies.

Know that movie has to be extremely hard to watch because ALL Amat Escalante's previous films are but have seen all his movies and definitively I am looking forward to see his latest, Heli that in Mexico has been called "treason to the nation" -that's a sample of how unconventional film is.

So which movies have made me excited up to this moment? Jagten, Gloria, Zwei Leben, La Grande Belleza, Heli, Pozitia Copilului and well, yes, because trailer Stalingrad. From this list suspect that four will make the shortlist and only two will get a nod.

This is my last update, the next will be Final after the list is announced by the Academy at their official site which usually happens within the next fifteen days after deadline.

September 10
As of today, Tuesday September 10th there are twenty two (22) countries that have announced films that will be consider for Foreign Language Film category in the 2014 Oscars edition. Out the 22 submissions only 3 films are by female directors and 2 are co directed by a woman; that is about one fourth of films made by women directors -which is about the average in festivals and general awards-. Let see if percentage remains the same, goes up or drops as more films are announced. As you can see in the list now female directors are highlighted in light orange for easier identification.

During the past week -after my first update- the most exciting, most expected and most not-a-surprise announcement came from Chile that is sending Belinale 2013 main competition nominated Gloria that gave lead actress, Paulina García, the Silver Bear for Best Actress plus director, Sebastián Lelio, the Ecumenical Jury Prize and the Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas. Can't wait to see this film by Lelio that I'm sure will be as good if not better as his previous films.

Yesterday Spain's Academy announcedt their short list that usually has three films but this year there are four; have not seen any of the four films -and really do not call my attention- so have no idea of which could be their selection. But most annoying was the message that English-media sent to the world in which they announced that Almodovar's latest film was NOT in the shortlist. Seems that those that wrote article plus the many that in social media reacted to the news in a non-positive way, have NOT seen Almodovar's latest oeuvre which in my opinion is a great funny film that is very, very far away from Oscar material. I enjoyed a lot film as a dramedy that made me recall Almodovar's early work but being very objective film is not awards material but great plain old fashion entertainment.

That's it for this week let's hope that during the next day's more (interesting) films will be submitted to Oscar 2014.

September 3
Up to the third day of September there are 16 countries that have already announced their official submission to Oscar 2014 in the category of Foreign Language Film. Last year a record was established when 71 countries submitted films and we know that have not been for the Iranian boycott then surely more submissions could have appeared.

This year there are early signs that a new record could be established as for the first time ever Montenegro submitted a film, Nepal submitted film after 15 years of absence, and has been announced that after a 50-year hiatus Pakistan will re-enter the race.

Not surprisingly the list contains movies that I have not seen yet but I'm looking forward to seen them during the next -not- calendar year. From the 16 already announced Nepal submission has become must be seen for me as well as the one from Turkey that from trailer seems to have the most beautiful cinematography; but also Germany's submission with Liv Ullmann is must be seen plus Austria's submission that has a story quite similar to the Summer TV hit Under The Dome, but in this story seems is one lonely women instead of a whole village isolated from the rest of the world.

For my regular readers is no surprise that up to this moment the film that I'm dying to see is the Romanian submission that won the Golden Bear at 2013 Berlinale. Talking about festivals this year decided to include in list the festival (s) were film was more successful so now is a bit easier to see how many festival movies are sent to Oscar.

Unfortunately seems that this year the 2013 Cannes Palme d'Or winner will NOT be screened in France before October 1st, 2013 so unless French distributor change their mind, film will NOT qualify for this year. The only chance film has is to qualify next year but with so many excellent films that France produces each year I wonder if film really would have an opportunity. Still the most incredible news were released the past week by the US Distributor, Sundance Selects, who plans to do an Oscar campaign as believes is a strong contender in categories other than best foreign language film. So, Adèle Exarchlopoulos and Léa Seydoux could be promoted for best and supporting actress categories but the biggest challenge within the Academy's acting branch is the conservative-leaning tastes that will not appreciate a NC-17 rated film with several graphic and extended sex scenes (lol). No film rated NC-17 has received an Oscar nomination in a major category, except Midnight Cowboy but that was rated X (LOL). Of course I'm talking about La Vie d'Adèle chapitres 1 & 2 also known as Le Bleu est une Couleur Chaude (Blue is the Warmest Color) by visual extraordinary and excellent/very peculiar storyteller Abdellatif Kechiche (remember La graine et le mulet and/or Vénus noire?).

Every year the most passionate film lovers come from India and Philippines and this year is no exception as they have already started to complain and loudly express their preferences about the film that each country will submit. Surely no matter what film will be chosen there will be a controversy.

This is it for this update, next week we will have more films to comment and more fresh news about this category in the Oscar race. Great.


Seems that I'm back with my favorite post which will start today, August 15. As we know the list will become the longest with (mostly) the best of each country cinema. Enjoy!

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