A record 83 countries have submitted for Foreign Language Film Oscar this year, besting the previous record of 76, set last year. Several first-timers are present this and they include: Mauritania, Malta, Kosovo and Panama.
Although it doesn’t appear that there is any clear frontrunner, the main contenders this year look like Turkey’s Winter Sleep from Nuri Bilge Ceylan, and the Palme d’Or winner at Cannes this year. Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure, which won the jury prize at Cannes this year for Un Certain Regard, which was submitted for Sweden. Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan finally had a film selected. His Mommy, also a Cannes winner this year, will represent Canada. Argentina’s darkly comic Wild Tales has great buzz and Poland’s Ida is a major contender. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan from Russia was a surprise submission and might be an early favorite.
Films will be screened for a volunteer committee of Academy members from all branches beginning next Monday, with voters giving each film a number score. A member must see a minimum number of films, either at AMPAS screenings or at outside screenings, for their vote to qualify.
The six top-ranked films, based on scores from the qualified voters, will move to a nine-film shortlist, with three selections made by an exclusive executive committee. Committees made up of 20 Academy members in L.A., 10 in New York and 10 in London will then view all nine shortlisted films over a three-day period, and vote to select the five nominees.
But now, it’s time for you to vote. Who do you think will make the cut and move on to the shortlist? You may only make nine choices in the poll.