Oscars: 9 Titles Advance in Foreign-Language Category

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The Academy announced on Friday that nine films have advanced in the foreign-language Oscar category

Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida, a drama about a nun-in-training who discovers secrets about her family's past, Andrey Zvyagintsev's Leviathan, a dark comedy about a land dispute in a small Russian town, and Damian Szifron's Wild Tales, a much more free-wheeling comedy about people pushed to their limits, are among the nine foreign-language films that have been selected to move forward in the competition for the foreign-language film Oscar.

The list includes Abderrahmane Sissako's Timbuktu, the first film ever submitted from Mauritania for the award. The lineup also consists of Zaza Urushadze's Tangerines from Estonia, George Ovashvili's Corn Island from Georgia, Paula van der Oest's Accused from the Netherlands, Ruben Ostlund's Force Majeure from Sweden and Alberto Arvelo's The Liberator from Venezuela.

Eighty-three countries submitted films, and a number of prominent titles didn't make the cut. Among them were the Belgium entry, Two Days, One Night, which stars Marion Cotillard and was directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne; the Turkish entry Winter Sleep, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, which was the Palme d'Or winner at this year's Cannes Film Festival; and Canada's Mommy, directed by Xavier Dolan.

The films on the foreign-language shortlist were selected by a committee of several hundred Academy members, who chose six films, which were augmented by three additional selections voted in by the Academy's foreign-language film award executive committee.

The shortlist will be winnowed down to the category’s five nominees by specially invited committees in New York, Los Angeles and, for the first time, London. They will spend Friday, Jan. 9, through Sunday, Jan. 11, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Jan. 15 at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The Oscars will be held on Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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