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Oscars: 76 Countries Competing for Best Foreign Language Film

11:17 AM PST 10/07/2013 by Gregg Kilday
Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy has released the list of countries and submissions in the category.

A record 76 films have been submitted for the 2014 Foreign Language Film Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday. That number is up from the 71 films that were submitted last year.

Countries entering their first-ever submissions include Moldova, Saudi Arabia and Montenegro, for the first time as an independent country. Pakistan also submitted a film for the first time in 50 years.

Among the best known entries, which have had exposure on the festival circuit, are Asghar Farhadi's The Past, submitted by Iran even though the film about a divorcing couple is set in Paris; Haifaa Al-Mansour's Wadjda, the Saudi Arabian submission and also the first film to be directed by a Saudi woman; Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt, from Denmark, for which Mads Mikkelsen won the best actor prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival; Wong Kar-Wai's martial arts movie The Grandmaster, submitted by Hong Kong;  Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty, from Italy; and Yuval Adler's Bethlehem, from Israel.

The Czech Republic submitted Burning Bush, a look at the student protests that swept that country in 1969, which was directed by Agnieszka Holland, whose In Darkness was nominated in 2012. But the foreign language executive committee disqualified the film since it wasproduced and aired as a three-part miniseries for HBO Europe before being released released as a theatrical feature, and the Academy rules state a qualifying film may not first appear on TV or the Internet. The Czech Republic was asked to submit another film and chose Jiri Menzel's comedy The Don Juans.

A couple of high-profile foreign-language films weren't submitted by their home countries. While Abdellatif Kechiche's lesbian drama Blue Is the Warmest Color won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, it was not released in France by Sept. 30, the cut-off date for eligibility for this year's entries. As its entry, France selected Gilles Bourdos' Renoir, a portrait of painter Auguste Renoir and his son Jean, who would go on to become the celebrated film director. And while critics on the festival circuit had championed Ritesh Batra's The Lunchbox, India chose to submit Gyan Correa's The Good Road, drawing criticism from Batra.

Since Academy rules no longer require that films be in the dominant language of their respective countries, three English-speaking nations entered the race this year. The United Kingdom is represented by Sean Ellis' Metro Manila, about an impoverished Philipine family that was shot in the Philipines in Tagalog; Australia entered Kim Mordaunt's The Rocket set in Laos in the Lao language; and New Zealand submitted Dana Rotberg's White LIes, which uses the Maori language.

The nominees, which will be announced Jan. 16, will be determined by committees set up by the foreign-language branch. But this year, the final vote is being opened up to all Academy members. In prior years, members who wanted to vote in the category had to see all five nominees at theatrical screenings, but this year, the Academy will make screeners of all the nominees available to all its members, making it easier for them to cast a ballot.

The full list of 2013 submissions follows:

Afghanistan, "Wajma – An Afghan Love Story," Barmak Akram, director
Albania, "Agon," Robert Budina, director
Argentina, "The German Doctor," Lucía Puenzo, director
Australia, "The Rocket," Kim Mordaunt, director
Austria, "The Wall," Julian Pölsler, director
Azerbaijan, "Steppe Man," Shamil Aliyev, director
Bangladesh, "Television," Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, director
Belgium, "The Broken Circle Breakdown," Felix van Groeningen, director
Bosnia and Herzegovina, "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker," Danis Tanovic, director
Brazil, "Neighboring Sounds," Kleber Mendonça Filho, director
Bulgaria, "The Color of the Chameleon," Emil Hristov, director
Cambodia, "The Missing Picture," Rithy Panh, director
Canada, "Gabrielle," Louise Archambault, director
Chad, "GriGris," Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, director
Chile, "Gloria," Sebastián Lelio, director
China, "Back to 1942," Feng Xiaogang, director
Colombia, "La Playa DC," Juan Andrés Arango, director
Croatia, "Halima’s Path," Arsen Anton Ostojic, director
Czech Republic, "The Don Juans," Jiri Menzel, director
Denmark, "The Hunt," Thomas Vinterberg, director
Dominican Republic, "Quien Manda?" Ronni Castillo, director
Ecuador, "The Porcelain Horse," Javier Andrade, director
Egypt, "Winter of Discontent," Ibrahim El Batout, director
Estonia, "Free Range," Veiko Ounpuu, director
Finland, "Disciple," Ulrika Bengts, director
France, "Renoir," Gilles Bourdos, director
Georgia, "In Bloom," Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, directors
Germany, "Two Lives," Georg Maas, director
Greece, "Boy Eating the Bird’s Food," Ektoras Lygizos, director
Hong Kong, "The Grandmaster," Wong Kar-wai, director
Hungary, "The Notebook," Janos Szasz, director
Iceland, "Of Horses and Men," Benedikt Erlingsson, director
India, "The Good Road," Gyan Correa, director
Indonesia, "Sang Kiai," Rako Prijanto, director
Iran, "The Past," Asghar Farhadi, director
Israel, "Bethlehem," Yuval Adler, director
Italy, "The Great Beauty," Paolo Sorrentino, director
Japan, "The Great Passage," Ishii Yuya, director
Kazakhstan, "Shal," Yermek Tursunov, director
Latvia, "Mother, I Love You," Janis Nords, director
Lebanon, "Blind Intersections," Lara Saba, director
Lithuania, "Conversations on Serious Topics," Giedre Beinoriute, director
Luxembourg, "Blind Spot," Christophe Wagner, director
Mexico, "Heli," Amat Escalante, director
Moldova, "All God’s Children," Adrian Popovici, director
Montenegro, "Ace of Spades - Bad Destiny," Drasko Djurovic, director
Morocco, "Horses of God," Nabil Ayouch, director
Nepal, "Soongava: Dance of the Orchids," Subarna Thapa, director
Netherlands, "Borgman," Alex van Warmerdam, director
New Zealand, "White Lies," Dana Rotberg, director
Norway, "I Am Yours," Iram Haq, director
Pakistan, "Zinda Bhaag," Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, directors
Palestine, "Omar," Hany Abu-Assad, director
Peru, "The Cleaner," Adrian Saba, director
Philippines, "Transit," Hannah Espia, director
Poland, "Walesa. Man of Hope," Andrzej Wajda, director
Portugal, "Lines of Wellington," Valeria Sarmiento, director
Romania, "Child’s Pose," Calin Peter Netzer, director
Russia, "Stalingrad," Fedor Bondarchuk, director
Saudi Arabia, "Wadjda," Haifaa Al Mansour, director
Serbia, "Circles," Srdan Golubovic, director
Singapore, "Ilo Ilo," Anthony Chen, director
Slovak Republic, "My Dog Killer," Mira Fornay, director
Slovenia, "Class Enemy," Rok Bicek, director
South Africa, "Four Corners," Ian Gabriel, director
South Korea, "Juvenile Offender," Kang Yi-kwan, director
Spain, "15 Years Plus a Day," Gracia Querejeta, director
Sweden, "Eat Sleep Die," Gabriela Pichler, director
Switzerland, "More than Honey," Markus Imhoof, director
Taiwan, "Soul," Chung Mong-Hong, director
Thailand, "Countdown," Nattawut Poonpiriya, director
Turkey, "The Butterfly’s Dream," Yilmaz Erdogan, director
Ukraine, "Paradjanov," Serge Avedikian and Olena Fetisova, directors
United Kingdom, "Metro Manila," Sean Ellis, director
Uruguay, "Anina," Alfredo Soderguit, director
Venezuela, "Breach in the Silence," Luis Alejandro Rodríguez and Andrés Eduardo Rodríguez, directors

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