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Breaking: The Foreign Oscar Charts Have Arrived!

I've been chart happy this week as you can see. The Oscar charts were all updated two days ago. And now the Foreign Language Film Submission Charts - all three of 'em - are up. Have to be ready when September hits, you know!? The three foreign film submission charts are now up:



You can always access the Oscar charts from the pulldown menu on the navigation bar. (But you must know that already.) Only the first chart has a lot of information (read: speculation) since only one country has officially announced. That would be Hungary's tense critically lauded allegory White God. But the charts will grow. UPDATE: Turkey and Poland have all announced. We have a race!

For now let's talk about a few random countries and films that might come into play...

CANADA (7 nominations & 1 win)
Coming off his coronation of sorts at Cannes Xavier Dolan's Mommy seems like the most obvious choice but it's not the only choice. In fact, Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm is also eligible; that one is damn prolific. Canada has only submitted Dolan once with I Killed My Mother but they've had a strong string of contenders and actual nominees lately. Denys Arcand, Canada's favorite son when it comes to Oscar (4 submissions, 3 nominations, 1 win) also has a new film out called An Eye For Beauty so who knows. More Canadian features are coming - there's a whole sidebar at TIFF of course.

CZECH REPUBLIC (9 nominations & 3 wins)
They have several options but the one I'm most intrigued by is called Hany. Watch this trailer [NSFW]. I'll tell you why after you do...

It was shot in a one long continuous take a la Rope (well mostly) and Russian Ark! And considering that, it looks fairly complicated, well populated, lively and ambitious. I really want it to be their submission because a) that's cool and b) then we can compare it to Birdman which is reportedly edited to look like it was all shot in one take.


ISRAEL (10 nominations)
From 2007 through 2011 Israel was hot-hot-hot with foreign language branch voters securing four of its ten nominations. Israel is the most nominated country never to have won the Foreign prize (Mexico & Poland are also oft-nominated without a statue to show for it). The frontrunner for their submission this year appears to be Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem starring and co-directed by Israel's awesome movie star Ronit Elkabetz (of Late Marriage, Or, and The Band's Visit fame). But when the Ophir nominations are announced in a few days we'll know more about its competition. You have to score at the Ophir Awards to be their submission.

Any guesses as to what your favorite country is submitting this year?




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Reader Comments (21)

France's Blue is the warmest color isn't eligible this year? Since it didn't get any noms last year so maybe.

August 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChatan

chatan -- no. it had a traditional US release last year so it was eligible for all but foreign. so no eligibility this year.

August 8, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Hi Nathaniel,

I made this list because I wanted to know these statistics and couldn't find it anywhere, so I went on wikipedia and had fun for a couple of hours. These nominations only represent the number of films by these directors that were nominated/won (not their personal number of nominations/wins)

* represents number of wins

5 Nominations
De Sica * * * *

4 Nominations
Fellini* * * *
Kurosawa* *
Istvan Szabó*
José Luis Garci*
Mario Monicelli
Etore Scola
Andrzej Wajda

3 Nominations
Bergman* * *
Rene Clement* *
Moshe Mizhari*
Ang Lee*
Denys Arcand*
Nikita Mikhalkov*
Jan Troell
Bo Widerberg
Carlos Saura
Zhang Yimou
Rachid Bouchareb

2 Nominations
Claude Lelouch*
Giuseppe Tornatore*
Pedro Almodovar*
Regis Wargnier*
Jan Sverák*
Caroline Link*
Juan Jose Campanella*
Susanne Bier*
Michael Heneke*
Vasilis Georgiades
Ephraim Kishon
Aleksandar Petrovic
Milos Forman
Francisco Rovira Beleta
Noboru Nakamura
Miguel Littíin
Zoltan Fábri
Gillo Pontecorvo
Maximilian Schell
Dino Risi
Stanislav Rostosky
Louis Malle
Sergei Bodrov
Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu
Joseph Cedar
Agnieszka Holland

August 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Goodbar

Arcand's newest film wasn't very well reviewed if I'm not mistaken. I'd be surprised if they didn't go for Dolan, his appearance at Cannes received a lot of attention in the québécois media.

August 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel

You ask for help, so the Brazilian here answer to you!!!

Probably our cadidate to nomination will surround between this motion pictures:

1) ' hoje eu quero voltar sozinho ' (the way he looks )

'Leonardo is a blind teenager searching for independence. His everyday life, the relationship with his best friend, Giovana, and the way he sees the world change completely with the arrival of Gabriel.'

direct by Daniel Ribeiro. Won the FIPRESCI PRIZE and the TEDDY BEAR in this year Berlin Film Festival. Great reviews here and around the world.

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpHKXyko358

2) 'O lobo atrás da porta' ( the wolf at the door )

'A journey to the dark cutting edge of desires, lies and wickedness of a love triangle, from the moment a child is mysteriously kidnapped.'

direct by Fernando Coimbra. Won the awards of Gaudalajara Mexican, Havana, Miami, San Sebastian Festivals. Also the award of Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival. The lovely surprise in our theatres.

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrHMaVz7EZE

3) 'Praia do Futuro' ( 'Futuro Beach') [probably our nominee)

'Short after facing the failure of an attempt to rescue a drowning man, Donato meets Konrad, friend of the victim. Motivated by the circumstances, Donato decides to begin a new life in Berlim, but pieces of his past are coming after him.'

Direct by Karim Ainouz. Great sensation at this year Berlin Film Festival, with great reviews of Hollywood Reporter, Variety and other journals.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7VNJdb2ZoA

August 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrendam

I'm from Brazil and I also believe those options Brendam mentioned are our best ones.
I'm particularly happy if it is The Way He Looks or The Wolf at the Door.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterremy

As much as I would like my home country Malaysia to have a more developed movie industry and produce more quality films, so far most of our local productions (mostly Malay language) have been limited to either ghost films or road-gangster movies; which is why we only submitted twice. With the death of one of our most prolific directors Yasmin Ahmad in 2009 we haven't seen quality local films in quite some time.

This year, we have a Chinese/English local production that broke every box office record and became the highest grossing local movie ever. It's called The Journey. If we were to submit I can only imagine they go with this film. It's a tale about cross-cultural clash and family value, starring lots of rookies in acting and an Australian stage actor Ben Pfeiffer. But these two factors might prevent it from being submitted:

(1) As Malay language is our official national language we usually only submit Malay-language film. This year we have not seen any high profile artistic Malay film being released which is what they went for the last two times (unless they shown it in some art-house cinema, but I don't think so).

(2) The Journey features a lot of English, so it might not even be eligible.

I personally would like to see it happen especially after last year's oh-so-close-to-nomination submission by our neighbor country Singapore (another tale on cross-cultural and family value). But somehow I don't think it's happening. We haven't read any news on any plan to submit film this year. Guess you can remove Malaysia from the chart.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

I'm pretty confident that Australia's entry will be Cannes winner CHARLIE'S COUNTRY.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Travis - me too as i said in the chart but there might be too much English language in it.

PJ - that seems to be happening with a lot of countries now the "too much English"

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

As far as I know, none of the three Chinese movie countries (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) had even announced their shortlisted films yet. Everything seems to be speculation for now. Here's my guess:

China: Though they produce the highest number of films among the three countries, their selections were usually predictable. I'm guessing the Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear-winning Black Coal, Thin Ice will make the cut. Another possible choice could be Zhang Yimou's Coming Home which stars Gong Li.

Taiwan: Produces relatively fewer movies than China and HK. Their selection last year (a horror film) surprised me. This year, I'm guessing Tsai Ming-liang's Stray Dogs. But if they decide to go with a more accessible film they could pick another one called Anywhere Somewhere Nowhere. If they want to go the historical route there's an upcoming one called Paradise in Service.

Hong Kong: Sometimes they were daring in submission, but most of the time they just went with the safest choice (last year's The Grandmaster was so obvious). This year, like you said in your chart they could arrange a special screening of The Golden Era because it's the obvious choice (epic, historical, prestigious director). Unless they want to go contemporary (or The Golden Era is not eligible) will they pick otherwise, but which one? Aberdeen? The White Storm? Quite unlikely to me.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

i am very confident that ithat the film Greece is going to be submit is "Mikra Anglia (Little England)" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3253650/combined). It was a box office champion (450.000 tickets) won 7 Greek Academy Awards (Picture, Cinematography, Editing, Art Direction, Costumes, Sound, Make up). A few weeks ago it also won 3 major awards (Picture, Director, Actress) in the Shanghai International Festival and it was announced that it has distirbution in UK and France.


A euronews story

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterManos

@Mr. Goodbar

You should also add Michael Cacoyannis (Electra, Iphigenia) with 2 noms and no wins in the Foreign Film category

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterManos

PJ, you need to remember China and Russia had a lot of censorship among the films. The Berlin winner is at this moment of current criticism, so don't bet for the film yet. Equal with Russia and Leviathan -Actually with Milkhanov and Putin, there's 99,99% Leviathan is out of the race-.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterleon

"Equal with Russia and Leviathan -Actually with Milkhanov and Putin, there's 99,99% Leviathan is out of the race-."

Yup. The film apparently ticked off Russian officials and frankly, do the Oscars want to look like they are bending over backwards to Russia? Could they insist that Leviathan at least gets short-listed based on its apparent quality? I have no idea how it works when it clearly becomes a matter of politics.

Timbuktu sounds like a potential player, as well as White God as far as other Cannes players besides the winners of Winter Sleep and Mommy.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

CMG -- The Oscars can't do that, no. They have very strict rules and you can only be considered in this category if you a) open during the window of eligibility in your home country and b) are submitted by your home country as their sole film to represent them.

that's the only way to be considered for that category. In the past we have seen situations where Oscar was annoyed that a great film was either disqualified or not submitted by its home country which helped it gain traction in other categories (THREE COLORS: RED in 1994 and TALK TO HER in 2002 are great examples of this) but of course that can only happen if you open in theaters in the US during the calendar year.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

For Italy, I suspect that two of the frontrunners are Human Capital (Il capitale umano), which won the David di Donatello for Best Film (beating The Great Beauty, no less) and The Wonders (Le meraviglie), which won the grand Prix at Cannes.

For Belgium, I agree that Two Days, One Night has a great chance at being put forward. Also, in recent years Belgium has adopted an (official? unofficial?) approach whereby they alternate a French-language film and a Dutch-language film. If that continues, this year will be a French-language film, which, again, favours the Dardennes.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

For Timbuktu part, unless the film is selecting to France -And a big IF considering how nationalists are the french committees- we shouldn't hold a lot of hope. Just last year Chad became the first Sub-saharian country not called South Africa which submitted more that once -And it was the second time-. Since the surprising victory of Cote d'Ivoire in 1976 only seven countries submitted. Mali is in political turmoil and Mauritania lacks of infrastructure. I would love to be surprised here but it's not encouraging.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterleon

For The Philippines:

It seems likely that our country will submit Norte, The End of History (local title Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan), the four-hour epic by renowned filmmaker Lav Diaz which had its premiere at the Un Certain Regard section of last year's Cannes Film Festival. Diaz' films have never been submitted before, but this one's looking to be the most acclaimed Filipino film available for submission.

Our selection committee has not yet released a shortlist of films for selection, but I would really be surprised if they would not go for Diaz' Norte.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Nat & Gabriel...Denys Arcand's film already had its cinematic release here in Québec a few months ago...and it was absolutely lousy. (Cannes didn't even want it!) I'd be flabbergasted if Canada were to choose it.

The Canadian selectors tend strongly to go for films which have won major awards at major international festivals, which is why Mommy is likely to be the choice. (As you mentioned, Nat, Tom on the Farm is also eligible.)

There are other possibilities, but not many others which would be worthy. A film released last November, Le Démantelement (Entlish titel likely The Auction) is really, really good, and woudl deserve consideration as the Canadian candidate, but that November release works against it. (Mommy gets its Québec theatrical release on September 19th, perfect timing for an Oscar candidate.)

A couple of other Canadian possibilities, though much less likely, would be: (1) La Petite Reine, a based-on-reality tale of a champion cyclist who dopes her way to victory, and what hapapens when she's found out. (It's the Québec box-office leader so far this year.); (2) Miraculum, one of those stories where lives of several characters interact#intersect, in the context of the aftermath of a plane crash. (Really good performance in this by Xavier Dolan, who plays a very straight, very devout Jehovas Witness.); (3) Maina, a story of native peoples set before arrival of the White man.

The Brazilan film The Wolf at the Door is playing here in Montréal right now. I saw it last weekend, and wasn't particularly impressed with the way the film was directed, though the acting was pretty good.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

A few words about Israel (my country)... Besides "Gett" another 2 stong possibilities, a local box-office hit comedy about girls in army, "Zero Motivation" (which won at Tribeca) and black comedy "A Farewell Party"....
But, you'd hardly be able to learn something from nominees (if there woldn't be any major surpises/snubs), because for example Jeanne Lapoirie (Gett's DOP) is not eligble (only Israeli citizens can be nominated for Ophir prizes).

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSpartak

Latest speculation from Taiwan: They might be selecting Partners in Crime, a film that will be playing at TIFF's Contemporary World Cinema. It's from the same director of Touch of the Light which representated Taiwan two years ago. Supposedly it received good word of mouth when it premiered at Taipei Film Festival last month. It will open in Taiwan end of September so it's eligible. The winner at that film festival is a film called Exit. It will open early October so I guess it misses the deadline. News is that they might choose Partners in Crime since it goes to TIFF and Exit doesn't.

August 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

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