Oscars: Montenegro Selects 'Iskra' for Foreign-Language Category

YouTube/Iskra Film

Gojko Berkuljan's political thriller follows Petar (Mirko Vlahovic), a retired detective whose daughter Iskra mysteriously disappears.

Montenegro has selected Iskra, a microbudget feature debut by Gojko Berkuljan, as its submission in the best foreign-language film category for the Oscars.

The film's title, which means "spark," gives little away, other than suggesting that this gritty thriller played out against a political backdrop starts with smoke and ends with fire.

Revolving around Petar (Mirko Vlahovic), a retired detective whose only reason to live is his daughter Iskra, the story takes off when she disappears and the investigation reawakens in Petar memories of his past.

Iskra stars newcomer Jelena Simic as the titular daughter, who plays a young and ambitious journalist probing unsolved disappearances of political figures from the chaotic post-Communist days of the 1990s. 

The feature is a co-production between Montenegro's Trust Agency and Serbia's Cinnamon Films.

Montenegro has submitted films for Oscar consideration on five occasions since 2013, but it did not have an entry last year. The country has yet to receive a nomination.