Film Bitch History
Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.


Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

Soundtracking: Hustlers

"YES, this soundtrack was soooo good!!! The Fiona Apple 'Criminal' dance, instantly iconic." - JWB

"Does anyone remember Demi Moore in STRIPTEASE? They had her dancing to sad Annie Lennox songs. smh." - David

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 461 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience



Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

What'cha Looking For?
« NYFF: Pawel Pawlikowski's Cold War | Main | Soundtracking: "A Star is Born (1976)" »

Oscar's Foreign Race Pt 4 - Debuting Filmmakers

Previously: All 87 foreign language film contenders, all the trailers we could find (we're missing just two) along with screening information, and the 20 female directors submitted.  Okay, part four now...


First time's the charm. 26 of the 87 films Oscar-submitted by their home country are for directors making their debut. That's an extraordinary honor if you stop to think about it! Would you like to meet them? That's rhetorical as I'll hope you'll click ahead to do so...

Asim Abbasi is a Pakistani director making his feature debut with Cake. He previously made short films.  You can follow him on Twitter

More newbies after the jump...

Lukas Dhont's debut Girl is Belgium's submission. The 27 year-old director (the youngest director from any of the 87 films) won the Camera d'Or at Cannes this summer for this trans ballerina drama. You can follow him on Instagram.

Gustav Möller's career is off to a great start. The 30 year-old director's debut Danish feature about a police officer trying to save a kidnapped woman won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance. Though Gustav was born in Sweden, he went to film school in Denmark. The Guilty opens October 19th in select cities in the US. Möller has already signed with WME in the States so expect new projects to line up.

Gojko Berkuljan makes his directorial feature debut with Montenegro's Iskra. He previously worked mostly on short films and documentaries.

Gustavo Rondón Córdova debut feature The Family is Venezuela's submission after a great run which included 35 film festivals. The 41 year-old director is from Caracas and studied film in the Czech Republic. He previously made several shorts. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

Ofir Raul Graizer, a 37 year old gay Israeli director, made his first short in 2007. The Cakemaker  is his first full length feature and after winning big at Israel's Ophir Awards, it became Israel's submission. You can preorder the gay drama on iTunes.

Huang Hsin-yao is a 45 year-old director from Taiwan who previously made a couple of documentaries and shorts before helming Taiwan's submission The Great Buddha+ which you can stream on iTunes.

Konstantin Khabenskiy is someone whose face you might recognize having starred in numerous films in Russia. He's also appeared in American films, too. But the 46 year old actor has stepped behind the camera (while staying in front of it) for his directorial debut Sobibor

Ivan Salaj has previously made short films, TV movies, and taken part in group directorial efforts but is making his traditional theatrical directorial debut with Croatia's comic submission The Eighth Commissioner.

Abu Bakr Shawky is an Egyptian-Austrian writer/director. His debut Yomeddine premiered at Cannes where it was honored with the François Chalais Award though it lost the Camera d'Or to Belgium's Girl.

Gjorce Stavrevski is a 40 year old shorts filmmaker graduating to features with the Macedonian submission Secret Ingredient

Govina Van Maele is a 35 year old Belgian filmmaker. His filmography was mostly documentaries and camera work prior to his narrative feature debut Gutland, now streaming on Amazon Prime. 

Likarion Wainaina is a 31 year-old Kenyan filmmaker who was born in Russia. After short films and a TV series he makes his feature debut with inspirational sick child drama Supa Modo. You can follow him on Twitter.

Mike Wiluan is a producer (credits include Crazy Rich Asians, Hitman Agent 47, and many more) who occassionally acts, too. He's taking his first turn behind the camera as a film director with the Singaporean submission Buffalo Boys (which he also acts in). His next project is a TV series for HBO Asia called Grisse.

Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias has made two documentary features and shorts before but Cocote, the Dominican Republic's submission, is the 33 year old director's first narrative feature. His film won the 'Signs of Life Award' at Locarno (pictured above).

Jamaicanoproblem is a Producer who has moved into the co-director's chair with Ecuador's submission A Son of Man. (The film's other director is Pablo Aguero who has four or five films under his belt)

We already discussed the female directors yesterday but, once again, the 10 debuting directors among that particular list were...

Rungano Nyoni for the UK I Am Not a Witch
Yasmine Chouikh for Algeria Until the End of Time 
Sophie Dupuis for Canada Family Ties
Cristina Gallego for Colombia Birds of Passage
Rahmatou Keïta for Niger The Wedding Ring 
Alexandra Latishev Salazar for Costa Rica Medea
Kay Nguyen  for Vietnam The Tailor
Darya Zhuk for Belarus Crystal Swan
Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo for Estonia Take It Or Leave It
Blerta Zeqiri for Kosovo The Marriage

more to come... 

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THESE FILMMAKERS!  You can read more about the films here, see the current predictions, and watch all the submission trailers. We aim to provide you with the best foreign film Oscar coverage on the web each year!


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (4)

actually Lukas Dhont does have Instagram account and he's been posting regluarly there

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commentereduardo

eduardo -- thanks. weird that i didn't find that on my search. updated.

October 10, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The Heiresses is Marcelo Martinessi´s feature debut, previously doing shorts and docs

October 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChatan

So many handsome dudes, which is always <3 <3 <3 but also, wish more women were debuting, too.

October 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDavid S.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>