61 countries submit films for foreign-language Oscar

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Kazakhstan may be bracing itself for the upcoming release of the 20th Century Fox comedy "Borat," but Thursday the embattled country got some good news when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its list of the 61 countries that have successfully submitted films for consideration in the foreign-language-film category at the 79th Annual Academy Awards.

For the first time, Kazahstan will be represented by a film: "Nomad," a historical epic set in the 18th century and directed by Sergei Bodrov, Talgat Temenov and Ivan Passer, which the Weinstein Co. has acquired for domestic distribution.

Although the Academy included Finland's submission of Aki Kaurismaki's "Lights in the Dusk" on its list, the director has requested the film be withdrawn because he didn't approve of the submission. However, the Academy reported that foreign-language committee chair Mark Johnson approached Kaurismaki about reversing that decision.

The 61 films selected represent a record number in the category.

The 2006 submissions: Algeria, "Days of Glory," directed by Rachid Bouchareb; Argentina, "Family Law," Daniel Burman; Australia, "Ten Canoes," Rolf de Heer; Austria, "You Bet Your Life," Antonin Svoboda; Bangladesh, "Forever Flows," Abu Sayeed; Belgium, "Someone Else's Happiness," Fien Troch; Bolivia, "American Visa," Juan Carlos Valdivia; Bosnia and Herzegovina, "Grbavica," Jasmila Zbanic; Brazil, "Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures," Marcelo Gomes; Bulgaria, "Monkeys in Winter," Milena Andonova; Canada, "Water," Deepa Mehta; Chile, "En la Cama," Matiaz Bize; China, "Curse of the Golden Flower," Zhang Yimou; Colombia, "A Ton of Luck," Rodrigo Triana; Croatia, "Libertas," Veljko Bulajic; Cuba, "El Benny," Jorge Luis Sanchez; Czech Republic, "Lunacy," Jan Svankmajer; Denmark, "After the Wedding," Susanne Bier; Egypt, "The Yacoubian Building," Marwan Hamed; France, "Avenue Montaigne," Daniele Thompson; Germany, "The Lives of Others," Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck; Greece, "Chariton's Choir," Grigoris Karantinakis; Hong Kong, "The Banquet," Feng Xiaogang; Hungary, "White Palms," Szabolcs Hajdu; Iceland, "Children," Ragnar Bragason; India, "Rang De Basanti," Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra; Indonesia, "Love for Share," Nia Dinata; Iran, "Transit Cafe," Kambozia Partovi; Iraq, "Dreams," Mohamed Al-Daradji; Israel, "Sweet Mud," Dror Shaul; and Italy, "Golden Door," Emanuele Crialese.

The submissions also include: Japan, "Hula Girls," Sang-il Lee; Kazakhstan, "Nomad," Sergei Bodrov, Talgat Temenov, Ivan Passers; Korea, "King and the Clown," Lee Jun-ik; Kyrgyzstan, "The Wedding Chest," Nurbek Egen; Lebanon, "Bosta," Philippe Aractingi; Lithuania, "Before Flying Back to Earth," Arunas Matelis; Macedonia, "Kontakt," Sergei Stanojkovski; Mexico, "Pan's Labyrinth," Guillermo del Toro; Morocco, "The Moroccan Symphony," Kamal Kamal; Nepal, "Basain," Subash Prasad Gajurel; the Netherlands, "Black Book," Paul Verhoeven; Norway, "Reprise," Joachim Trier; Peru, "Madeinusa," Claudia Llosa; the Philippines, "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros," Auraeus Solito; Poland, "Retrieval," Slawomir Fabicki; Portugal, "Alice," Marco Martins; Puerto Rico, "Thieves and Liars," Ricardo Mendez Matta; Romania, "The Way I Spent the End of the World," Catalin Mitulescu; Russia, "9th Company," Fyodor Bondarchuk; Serbia, "Tomorrow Morning," Oleg Novkovic; Slovenia, "Gravehopping," Jan Cvitkovic; Spain, "Volver," Pedro Almodovar; Sweden, "Falkenberg Farewell," Jesper Ganslandt; Switzerland, "Vitus," Fredi M. Murer; Taiwan, "Blue Cha Cha," Cheng Wen-tang; Thailand, "Ahimsa Stop to Run," Leo Kittikorn; Turkey, "Ice Cream, I Scream," Yuksel Aksu; Ukraine, "Aurora," Oxana Bayrak; Venezuela, "Maroa," Solveig Hoogesteijn; and Vietnam, "Story of Pao," Ngo Quang Hai.
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