'Illegal' is Belgian Oscar contender

Refugee drama debuted in Directors' Fortnight at Cannes

COLOGNE, Germany -- "Illegal," a refugee drama by director Olivier Masset-Depasse, will represent Belgium in the race for the 2011 Foreign Language Oscar.

"Illegal" tells the story of Tania (Anne Coesens), a Russian immigrant living in Belgium illegally with her 13-year-old son Ivan. When Tania is arrested and put in a detention center, she does everything in her power, even risking expulsion, to find Ivan.

"Illegal" debuted in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar in Cannes. It was produced by Jacques-Henri and Olivier Bronckart of Versus Production with Films Distribution handling world sales.

The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences will pick the five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film on Jan. 25. The winner will be announced on Oscar night, Feb. 27, 2011.