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LOS ANGELES, CA – Nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 89th Academy Awards®. Eighty-five films had originally been considered in the category. This marks the 60th anniversary of the Foreign Language Film category where the first winner was La Strada (from Italy).
Elle (France), starring Best Actress Oscar hopeful Isabelle Huppert was shockingly left off the shortlist. Although it shouldn’t have any direct bearing on the Best Actress race (nominees are decided on by two very different groups) it certainly doesn’t help Huppert.
Other surprises included Chile’s Neruda (from Pablo Larráin) not making the cut, ensuring that the director has no chance of being nominated for two different films in the same year (he also has Jackie). Spain’s Julieta from Oscar-winner (in this category) Pedro Almodovar also didn’t find a spot here.
While most of the films that made the list two stood out as surprises: Canada’s It’s Only the End of the World from Xavier Dolan (a widely panned flop) and Australia’s Tanna. Switzerland’s My Life as a Zucchini, which was the first official submission of the season, could be the first animated film since 2008’s Waltz with Bashir (Israel) to make Oscar’s top 5. It’s also on the shortlist for Animated Feature. Were it to be nominated in both categories it would be an Oscar first.
All directors except Iran’s Asghar Farhadi (a previous winner for The Separation) are first timers for the shortlist. Germany’s Toni Erdmann is the only film on the list directed by a woman.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
Australia, “Tanna,” Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, directors;
Canada, “It’s Only the End of the World,” Xavier Dolan, director;
Denmark, “Land of Mine,” Martin Zandvliet, director;
Germany, “Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade, director;
Iran, “The Salesman,” Asghar Farhadi, director;
Norway, “The King’s Choice,” Erik Poppe, director;
Russia, “Paradise,” Andrei Konchalovsky, director;
Sweden, “A Man Called Ove,” Hannes Holm, director;
Switzerland, “My Life as a Zucchini,” Claude Barras, director.
Most of the countries making the finals are no strangers to the shortlist, getting nominations and in many cases, winning the Oscar. Denmark has been nominated 11 times, Germany has been nominated 9 times and won twice, Iran has won once and Sweden has been nominated a whopping 14 times and won three.
Check back soon for updated predictions from the Gold Rush Gang for the Foreign Language Film Oscar.
Foreign Language Film nominations for 2016 are determined in two phases.
The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 12. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.
The shortlist will be winnowed down to the category’s five nominees by specially invited committees in New York, Los Angeles, and London. They will spend Friday, January 13, through Sunday, January 15, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.
The competitive Foreign Language Film category was introduced in 1956 for the 29th Academy Awards. In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Academy has created a complete playlist of acceptance speeches and a poster gallery of all the Foreign Language Film Oscar® winners.
Nominations for the 89th Oscars® will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.
The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center®in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
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ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 7,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.