Germany looks to 'Heaven' in defending Oscar crown

Vies for foreign-language award

"The Edge of Heaven," Fatih Akin's drama about the clash of cultures between Europe and Turkey, has been chosen as Germany's official entry for the 2008 foreign-language film Oscar.

"Heaven" will look to repeat the success of Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Lives of Others," which picked up the foreign film nod at this year's Academy Awards.

Produced by Akin's Hamburg-based Corazon, "Heaven" premiered In Competition at May's Festival de Cannes, where it won the best screenplay award. The film is the second leg of what Akin calls his Love, Death and the Devil trilogy, which started with his 2004 Berlinale Golden Bear winner "Head-On."

"Heaven" intertwines the stories of six people, each of which is a stand-in for an aspect of the cultural divide between Europe and Turkey.

The film was selected as Germany's official Oscar entry by a jury of German film professionals on behalf of national cinema promotion body German Films.

Informed of the decision, Akin said he was "just lucky that (fellow German director) Tom Tykwer shot 'Perfume: The Story of a Murderer' in English," disqualifying that film for the foreign-language Oscar.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will select the five nominees for the foreign-language category Jan. 22. The Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 24.
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