Friday, October 06, 2006


Ten Canoes
This week, seven counties announced the films they are submitting for the 79th Academy Awards this coming February in the Best Foreign Language Oscar category. They are: Australia, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Norway, and Sweden. Spain announced last week. See previous post, 30 September.

Australia picks Aboriginal film

TEN CANOES, shot in the Australian indigenous Aboriginal language of Ganalbingu, is Australia's choice. CANOES is not only the first Aboriginal film, it is a film that could not have been submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Best Foreign Language (BFLF) category before now.

The Academy completely overhauled the rules for the BFLF category earlier this year. One of the changes stipulates that films no longer must be in the official language of the submitting country. As I reported in my post on this blog, 22 July 2006, "AMPAS update: . . .": "So long as the dominant language is not English, a picture from any country may be in any language or combination of languages. Last year, the Italians wanted to submit a picture that was clearly made by Italian artists, and which qualified for the category in every other way except one: there was no Italian language in it. All the dialogue was in Middle Eastern languages."

There were big changes in the selection process, too. See that 22 July post for more info.

Rolf De Heer, wrote the script in collaboration with the people of Ramingining, a community of Yolngu people in Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. He co-directed with Peter Djigirr.

China picks film directed by Zhang Yimou

China has chosen Zhang Yimou's CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, center around ancient Chinese imperial politics, was selected by a committee set up by China's Film Bureau. It stars Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li and Taiwanese pop sensation Jay Chou.

Zhang directed the critically acclaimed HOUSE OF THE FLYING DAGGERS and HERO. Both starred the beautiful Ziyi Zhang, who stars in the Hong Kong entry this year.

Denmark decides for AFTER THE WEDDING

AFTER THE WEDDING (Efter brylluppet), directed by Susanne Bier, tells the story of a manager of an orphanage in Denmark (Mads Mikkelsen) who is sent to Copenhagen, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.

Hong Kong goes with director Feng

The Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong have picked Chinese director Xiaogang Feng's THE BANQUET (Ye yan), inspired by "Hamlet" and starring Ziyi Zhang and Caniel Wu. It is a Hong Kong-China co-production.

Italy enters GOLDEN DOOR

GOLDEN DOOR (Nuovomondo), depicting the voyage of a Sicilian family from their homeland to America at the beginning of the last century was selected by the Anica association of film producers to represent Italy. Directed by Emanuele Crialese, DOOR stars Charlotte Gainesbourg, and is largely scripted in the Sicilian dialect.

GOLDEN DOOR was shown in competition at last month's Venice Film festival, where it won praise from Italian critics. There, the movie won the Silver Lion for revelation, an award that the jury does not have to hand out, but it was given as a sign of appreciation for the movie.

Italy's choice for last year's Academy Awards, DON’T TELL, won a nomination for BFLF. Italy last won the BFLF Oscar in 1999 with Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful."

Norway sends REPRISE

The lighthearted film REPRISE, about life's realities intruding on youthful assumptions, is Norway's entry. It is director Joachim Trier's debut feature film.


Jesper Ganslandt's FALKENBERG FAREWELL (Farväl Falkenberg) will represent Sweden. No other info available at the moment.

This post mainly based on information from Yahoo Movies, and the Academy Web site. See links on the right sidebar.


  1. Hola Mimi .. this category is rapidly shaping to be a great one this year .. sight unseed (though I will see them soon), I would say the favorites would have to be Pan's Labyrinth and Volver, but I guess we'll have to wait and see

  2. Hi Keith,

    That was a quick comment, I don't think I had finished publishing yet.

    Well, they are both from Spain, and Spain has submitted Volver. Of course, Pan could be considered in some other way for an Oscar, but I doubt it.

    From the stills I've seen, it is beautifully shot, and looks interesting. When you do see one, or both, let me know what you think. Okay?

  3. Ooops. My mistake. PAN'S LABYRINTH (El Laberinto del Fauno), written and directed by Guillermo del Toro is a from Mexico, not Spain. I see it has ben picked up by Picturehouse and a limited U.S. release is set for late December.

  4. You probably will never hear of Arunas Matelis or his film, Before Flying Back to Earth, but they are in the Oscar race for Best Foreign Film of the year! Unfortunately, the chances are slim that it will win, or even get one of the final nominations, for this film has no resources to promote it. I am writing you personally to urge you to give it any support that you can for it is a worthy film deserving of your attention.

    Before Flying Back to Earth chronicles the hopes and resilience of children with leukemia in Lithuania. It is based on the observations of its Director, Arunas Matelis’ five year-old daughter who has leukemia. Her struggles with leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood, and afflicts thousands of children per year, in fact, parallels his to gain recognition for this film, and win an Oscar against undeniably improbable odds!

    I provide charity services in the same children’s hospital in Lithuania where it was filmed. This film’s nomination would do much to spotlight cancer, which is the 2nd most common cause of death in young children.

    Arunas Matelis, the director, is just happy that his film is even being considered for such an honor as an Academy Award. To win a nomination for for him would be a miracle, but for Arunas much less important than having his young actors recover from their illnesses!

    I thank you for your consideration for this film! Dr. Ed Domanskis

    Arunas Matelis is a Lithuanian Director who has won numerous awards for his Film, Before Flying Back to Earth, and can be contacted through the film’s website, or directly at He is available for interviews and will be presenting his film at the upcoming Palm Springs Film Festival January 6th and 8th and in Los Angeles January 14. He will be at the Marquis Suites from January 4 until the 9th.

    Dr. Edward Jonas Domanskis is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
    1441 Avocado Avenue, Suite 307
    Newport Beach, California 92660
    FAX- 949.640-7347
    Assistant Clinical Professor of SurgeryWOS-Plastic,University of California(Irvine)
    Orange County’s Physician of Excellence/America’s Top Physicians/Top Doctors
    Plastic Surgery- 2005/2006/2007

  5. Domanskis,

    Thank you for your comment. However, I do not promote specific movies, but I do emphasize movies from Spain and Latin America. If BEFORE FLYING BACK TO EARTH is nominated in the BFLF category, it will get a mention on this blog. Please, visit again.


Thank you for commenting! Mimi