More European pics join Oscar hopefuls list

Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia choose films

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COLOGNE, Germany -- The ranks of nominees for the 2010 foreign-language film Oscar continues to swell, with Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia putting their horses in the race.

Borys Lankosz's debut feature, "The Reverse," which jumps in time between the 1950s and the present day and in tone between comedy and film noir, will represent Poland. The film is the first in 14 years from the legendary KADR studios, which hosted productions from such Polish filmmaking luminaries as Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Kawalerowicz and Juliusz Machulski.

The Czech Film and Television Academy picked the WW2 thriller "Protector" from director Marek Najbrt. "Protector" is the story of a radio journalist and his Jewish actress wife living in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia whose marriage is tested when the actress defies anti-Semitic laws banning her from appearing in public.

Director Jiri Chlumsky picked the same region and time period for his action-filled biopic "Broken Promise," which will represent Slovakia. Here, however, the focus is a young soccer player who transforms into a fierce resistance fighter. The film picked up the audience award at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival and is set to play at the Pusan International Film Festival next month.

A more recent war is the subject of Croatian candidate "Donkey" from director Antonio Nuic, which follows a family that return to Herzegovina following the Croatian war of the early 1990s.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will pick the nominees for the 2010 foreign-language film Oscar on Feb. 2 and the winner at the 82nd Academy Awards on March 7.