Foreign-language Oscar contenders pour in

Films from Austria, Brazil, Sweden, Asia enter the race

COLOGNE, Germany -- Uli Edel's controversial terrorist drama "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex" joined a growing crowd of foreign-language Oscar hopefuls Tuesday, carrying the banner for Germany amid a rash of new entries.

Austria, last year's winner for "The Counterfeiters," added another German-language entry to the mix Tuesday, submitting "Revanche," Gotz Spielmann's unconventional story of guilt and revenge.

Shot in a stark, realistic style with a cast of unknowns, "Revanche" has been a festival hit, winning several international prizes, including top honors from both the Label of European Cinemas and the International Confederation of Art Cinemas in Berlin this year.

Other titles joining the race were Jan Troell's "Everlasting Moments," which will represent Sweden, and Bruno Barreto's "Last Stop 174" from Brazil.

Both titles played in Toronto, where Barreto's chronicle of a real-life bus hijacking in Rio de Janeiro had its world premiere and "Moments" was picked up by Rainbow Media's IFC.

Other recent films bidding for Oscar nominations include Yojiro Takita's "Departures" (Japan), Dante Nico Garcia's "Ploning" (Philippines), Wei Te-sheng's "Cape No. 7" (Taiwan) and Kim Tae-gyun's "Crossing" (South Korea).

In this crowd, Troell is a rare Oscar veteran, with two Oscar nominations on his resume -- best director and adapted screenplay for 1973's "The Emigrants."

Even rarer is "Captain Abu Raed." Amin Matalqa's drama about a janitor who pretends to be an airline pilot to inspire poor children in his neighborhood is the first-ever Oscar entry from Jordan. It also is the first feature-length film to be made in the country in half a century.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for best foreign-language film Jan. 22.
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