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.
Sweden waves FALKENBERG FAREWELL
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.