'Barbara' Chosen as Germany's Foreign Language Oscar Candidate

Barbara Berlin Film Still - H 2012

The drama from director Christian Petzold follows a doctor struggling to escape from communist East Germany.

BERLIN – Barbara, a social drama set in 1980s communist East Germany, will be Germany’s official candidate for next year’s foreign language Oscar.

The drama from director Christian Petzold stars Nina Hoss as a doctor banished to the countryside after she tries to obtain a travel visa to visit the West. Struggling in the provincial backwater, she is caught between a desire to escape the GDR and a growing attraction for her new head doctor, played by actor Ronald Zehrfeld.

REVIEW: Barbara: Berlin Film Review

Barbara premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where Petzold won the Silver Bear for best director. The film was nominated for seven Lolas, the local equivalent of the Oscar, and won the runner-up Silver Lola for best film for producers Florian Koerner von Gustorf and Michael Weber.

Barbara has been a local sleeper success, earning nearly $3 million (€2.37 million) at the German box office. The Match Factory, which is handling international sales for the title, have signed deals for more than 40 territories worldwide, including the U.S., where Adopt Films will bow Barbara on Dec. 21.

STORY: Berlin 2012: Adopt Film Acquires All U.S. Rights to Winner 'Barbara'

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will pick the five Best Foreign Language nominees on Jan. 15, 2013. The winner will be announced at the 85th Oscar ceremony on Feb. 24.