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91st Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2018 (for the 2019 Ceremony) - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes

 discuss on the blog

29 of 87 SUBMISSIONS
Part Three: Pakistan through Yemen
Last Update October 23rd, 2018 

Afghanistan through Georgia Germany through Norway | Pakistan through Yemen |

coverage of this Oscar race:
 all the trailers | all the debut directors | all 20 female directors 
previously submitted auteurs | Nathaniel's rankings  | 
12 international hunks | LGBT entries and Trivia | 

Pakistan
never nominated
(first submitted in 1959, began regular submissions in 2013) 

CAKE
Asim Abbasi

125 minutes
Urdu

Two sisters dealing with their family's land and their ailing parents. 

Palestine
2 nominations
(submitting since 2003)

GHOST HUNTING
Raed Antoni

94 minutes
Arabic and English

A documentary/drama hybrid in which the director recruits former inmates of an interrogation center and has them reenact their interrogations in a replica of the center rebuilt to scale. This film Played festivals last year.

Panama
never nominated
(submitting since 2014)

RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME
Abner Benaim

??? minutes
Spanish

A documentary about the long career of musician Ruben Blades, a salsa music icon.

Paraguay
never nominated
(submitting since 2015)

THE HEIRESSES
Marcelo Martinessi
Official Site 

98 minutes
Spanish and Guarani

As we suspected the film which took Best Actress at Berlinale has been selected by Paraguay. It's about a once wealthy woman who has to restart her life when her partner of 30 years is imprisoned.

Peru
1 nomination (submitting since 1967)

ETERNITY
Oscar Catacora
Trailer

86 minutes
Aymara

An elderly couple waits for their son in the Los Andes. This is the first feature shot entirely in the Aymara language (spoken by indigenous people of Peru and Bolivia)

 

The Philippines
never nominated (submitting since 1956)

SIGNAL ROCK
Chita S Roño

130 minutes
Filipino & Tagalog

A drama about living on an island so remote you have to go to a strange rock formation to get a signal on cel phones

Poland
10 nominations | 1 win (submitting since 1963)

COLD WAR
Pawel Pawlikowski
Official Site

88 minutes
Polish, French, German, Italian, Croatian, Russian

OPENS DEC 21ST IN US THEATERS

As suspected Poland went with this gorgeous black and white romantic musical drama from the team behind their only Oscar winner Ida. It's a formidable contender. 

 Not Selected:  Mug about a man who gets a face transplant which won a prize at Berlinale.

Portugal
never nominated* (submitting since 1980)

PILGRIMAGE
João Botelho

??? minutes
Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Latin, Indonesian

Not Selected: Portugal often makes daring choices but they skipped fun festival oddity   Diamantina this year.

Romania
never nominated (submitting since 1966)

"I DO NOT CARE IF WE GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BARBARIANS"
dir. Radu Jude
More Info

140 minutes
Romanian

A historical drama about the ethnic cleansing on the Eastern Front in 1941. The title is an infamous actual quote that preceded the cleansing.

Radu Jude previously directed Aferim! which was Romania's 2015 submission

Russia
14 noms | 4 wins* (submitting since 1963 as the USSR / as Russia since 1992)

SOBIBOR
Konstantin Khabensky
Trailer 

110 minutes
Russian

This film, also known as "Escape from Sobibo,"  is about a prisoner urpisingat a Soviet extermination camp during World War II

Not Selected: 70s biopic Dovlatov  took a prize at Berlinale and 80s rock star drama Summer 
played at Cannes. Anna's War and Ahhrythmia also had decent sized profiles

 

Serbia
never nominated (submitting since 1994)

OFFENDERS
Dejan Zecevic
Trailer

107 minutes
Serbian

Three students and their professor mentor test a theory that society will always devolve into chaos

Not Selected: We had thought they might go with The Load, about a man driving a truckload of undisclosed cargo to Belgrade around the time of the 1999 NATO bombing. Perhaps next year if it wasn't released in time in Serbia?

Singapore
never nominated (first submitted in 1959, then in 2005 and frequently since)

BUFFALO BOYS
Mike Wiluan

102 minutes
Indonesian and English

An action film set in the 19th century in which two brothers are out to avenge their father after his exile to America

 

Slovakia
1 nom / 1 win* (submitting since 1993)

THE INTERPRETER
dir. Martin Sulík
OFFICIAL SITE

113 minutes
German, Slovak, and Russian

Two old men take a journey to meet surviving witness of wartime tragedy.

 

Slovenia
never nominated (submitting since 1993)

IVAN
Janez Burger

91 minutes
Slovenian and Italian

A woman must choose between her obsession with a man and her baby.

South Africa
2 noms | 1 win
(submitting since 1989)

SEW THE WINTER TO MY SKIN
Jahmil XT Qubeka
Official Site

118 minutes
Afrikaans, Xhosa, and English

This is a true story from the 1950s about a robin hood like outlaw who stole from colonialists and became a hero to the indigenous people.

Not SelectedThe Harvesters about an orphan suddenly competing with a new brother for parental attention played at Cannes

 

South Korea
never nominated (submitting since 1962)

BURNING
Lee Chang-dong
Official Site

148 minutes
Korean

OPENS NOV 9TH IN US THEATERS

A triangular drama about a delivery-man and a man and a woman that he meets. Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) and Yoo Ah-in (The Throne) star.  

This is the third time South Korea has submitted a Chang-dong film. Previously Oasis and Secret Sunshine competed though neither were nominated. Embarrassingly Oscar has never nominated a South Korean film despite the country's rich cinematic history.

Spain
19 noms | 4 wins (submitting since 1956)

CHAMPIONS
Javier Fesser
Official Site

124 minutes
Spanish

This crowd-pleasing comedy is a big hit in Spain. It's about a basketball team of mentally disabled players (played by real disabled people).

Not Selected: The other two finalists were Giant, a historical drama about a giant and his brother, and Asghar Farhadi's mystery Everybody Knows starring Cruz & Bardem. 

Sweden
14 noms | 3 wins (submitting since 1956)

BORDER
Ali Abassi

101 minutes
Swedish

OPENS OCT 26TH IN US THEATERS

Oscar likes Sweden and this year's they've submitted a bizarre but buzzy title called Border  about a customs officer with a unique sense of smell. It won Un Certain Regard at Cannes

 

Switzerland
5 noms | 2 wins (submitting since 1961)

ELDORADO
dir. Markus Imhoof
MORE INFO

90 minutes
German

As we suspected they went with Markus Imhoof's new documentary about the refugee crisis. This is Imhoof's fourth time representing Switzerland for the Oscars. The others were The Boat is Full (1981 nominee), Der Berg (1991), and More Than Honey (2013)

 Not Selected: Ursula Meier's new drama Shock Waves starring Fanny Ardant

Taiwan
3 noms | 1 win (submitting since 1957)

THE GREAT BUDDHA +
Huang Hsin-yao
Rent on iTunes

102 minutes
Taiwanese Hokkien, Mandarin, English

ALREADY PLAYED US THEATERS

A comedy about the haves and have nots in a corrupt village. Alternates black and white and color.

When Ang Lee stopped making foreign language films Oscar lost interest in Taiwan. Will this year's submission get lucky?

Not Selected: One higher profile possibility was the youth drama Xiao Mei

 

 

Thailand
never nominated (submitting since 1984)

MALILA: THE FAREWELL FLOWER
Anucha Boonyawatana

94 minutes
Thai

A meditative drama about a man who returns to his old village when his ex boyfriend is diagnosed with cancer.

Tunisia
never nominated (submitting infrequently since 1995)

BEAUTY AND THE DOGS
Kaouther Ben Hania
Official Site

100 minutes
Arabic

Streaming on Amazon Prime

A young woman leaves a party with a mysterious man and spends the night fighting for her rights and dignity. The movie played Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2017. 

The movie played Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2017. 

 

Turkey
never nominated (submitting since 1964...and every year without fail since 2005)

THE WILD PEAR TREE
Nuri Bilge Ceylan

188 minutes
Turkish

This is the fifth time Turkey has submitted their most acclaimed perpetually long-winded director. He has yet to be nominated for foreign film.

Not Selected: Butterflies by Tolga Karacelik which won a prize at Sundance.

Ukraine
1 nom*
(submitting since 1997)

DONBASS
Sergey Loznitsa

110 minutes
Ukrainian & Russian

A drama about fake news and the degradation of society in the Ukraine. Loznitsa's first submission!

Not SelectedWhen the Trees Fall about a teenage girl and her criminal boyfriend

United Kingdom
2 nomination
(submiting since 1991)

I AM NOT A WITCH
Rungano Nyoni

93 minutes
Bemba, English

Currently in US theaters

An 8 year old girl is accused of witchcraft in her local village. The film won the Debut prize at BAFTA last season and other prizes as well. One to watch.

 

Uruguay
never nominated*
(submitting since 1992)

A TWELVE-YEAR NIGHT
Alvaro Brechner

122 minutes
Spanish

A historical drama about three men who were in solitary confinement for 12 years in a military prison.

Venezuela
never nominated (submitting since 1978)

LA FAMILIA
Gustavo Rondon Cordova

82 minutes
Spanish

Available to stream on iTunes

A father son drama about a blue collar violent neighborhood

Vietnam
1 nomination
(submitting since 1993)

THE TAILOR
Tran Buru Loc &  Kay Nguyen

100 minutes
Vietnamese

The synopsis are a little hard to make sense of but it apparently takes place in the 1960s and 1970s and involves a tailor, a fabric shop, and the traditional costumes of Vietnam in the long dress "ao dai" era giving way to an interest in western fashion

Yemen
never nominated (submitting since 2016)

10 DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Amr Gamal
Official Site

122 minutes
Arabic

A couple faces numerous obstacles before their wedding

STATS and PREDICTIONS

• AFGHANISTAN through GEORGIA 

• GERMANY through NORWAY