Over the next couple of months we'll be hearing the names of the 70ish films that will be competing for Oscar's coveted shortlist as Best Foreign Language Film. So far nine countries have selected their films and other countries have begun the winnowing to get to their top choice.
Our charts are now in progress with posters, info, and links to official sites and such as well as links back to highlights from last year's global class.
Chart 1 Afghanistan to Finland
Denmark and Brazil have narrowed it down to three films each with Brazil's choice already embroiled in a lot of controversy due to political fighting in regards to Aquarius (starring Sonia Braga which hits TIFF & NYFF shortly and which was very well received at Cannes) though I have to admit it's hard to make sense of the turmoil from an outsider's perspective given the Google translate limitations. Thank to Jon in the comments for alerting us to this brewing controversy but if someone can sum it up for us in brief that would be appreciated. But on our first chart we have three official submissions
CUBA - THE COMPANION
Cuba's submission is about a boxer accused of doping who is forced to become a companion to a soldier who has contracted AIDS. Cuba has only been nominated for the LGBT drama Strawberry & Chocolate (1994) in the past but I maintain that Behavior (2014), their most recent submission, would have been a worthy nominee. Here's the new film's trailer with subtitles:
CROATIA - ON THE OTHER SIDE
There is a trailer available but not subtitled. It's about a mother who's kept a secret for a very long time.
AUSTRALIA - TANNA
Australia's entry takes place on a remote island and is performed by the Yakel tribe. This one opens in New York City and Los Angeles in September so cross your fingers that it wins further expansion. Here's the official site and the trailer. Our own Glenn Dunks wrote about it for Paradise magazine. It won two prizes at Venice last year and it looks potentially exciting...