9 on foreign-pic Oscar shortlist

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Nine of 61 films that originally qualified for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the foreign- language film Oscar have advanced to the final voting phase.

The rules for the category changed this year. Instead of several hundred members of the foreign-language film committee selecting the five nominees, this year — during what the Academy calls Phase I — their ballots selected nine finalists for nomination.

A Phase II committee of 30, comprising 10 randomly selected members of the larger group and two 10-member contingents from New York and Los Angeles, will choose the final five nominees.

The films are Algeria's "Days of Glory," directed by Rachid Bouchareb (distributed by the Weinstein Co.); Canada's "Water," by Deepa Mehta (Fox Searchlight); Denmark's "After the Wedding," by Susanne Bier (IFC Films); France's "Avenue Montaigne," by Daniele Thompson (ThinkFilm); Germany's "The Lives of Others," by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Sony Pictures Classics); Mexico's "Pan's Labyrinth," by Guillermo del Toro (Picturehouse); the Netherlands' "Black Book," by Paul Verhoeven; Spain's "Volver," directed by Pedro Almodovar; and Switzerland's "Vitus," by Fredi M. Murer (no distributor).

Screenings for Phase II will be held Friday-Sunday in New York and Los Angeles. The nominations for the 79th Annual Academy Awards will be announced Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. PST. The Oscars will be held Feb. 25 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland.
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