Ukraine, Hungary and Azerbaijan join the small ranks of countries who have officially submitted their Oscar submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category. The Ukraine chose the biopic Firecrosser and Azerbaijan went with Oscar's second favorite storyline in this category with Buta (young child befriended by old person). The big story here, though, if only for being a slight curveball, is that Hungary did not go with a totally outre effort as they've been prone to do as of late. Instead they went with a more sober traditionally artistic effort. Which is not to say that they aren't still pushing the boundaries of what AMPAS will watch. Just the Wind is reportedly harrowing and brutal, dealing with a series of racial murders and poverty.
[Hungary hasn't been nominated since the heyday of István Szabó who had four nominations in the 1980s. Szabó's films were so hot in the US arthouse that his actor muse Klaus Maria Brandauer even flipped over to Hollywood and became an Oscar nominated actor (Out of Africa) and international star for a time.]
You can read more about the films on the official chart, a staple of The Film Experience's famous Oscar coverage. Spread the word about our thorough submission charts!
Austria through Iran
4 official submissions thus far but it's Michael Haneke's Amour, from Austria, that's got all the buzz right now. Word has it that they've got their sights set higher than just a lone Oscar nod in this awesome but usually stand-alone category. His previous high profile (Caché had much last minute buzz though no nominations followed) and White Ribbon's two nominations make the case for golden momentum.
Italy through Vietnam
3 official submissions thus far: Serbia, Ukraine, and Venezuela
As always we'd love to hear about your home country's film options. You can email Nathaniel if you have a hot tip or news about your home's selection or the selection process itself.