Record 63 pics vie for foreign Oscar


Cristian Mungiu's Palme d'Or winner "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" from Romania, the animated "Persepolis" from France and the Polish feature "Katyn," directed by Andrzej Wajda, who picked up an honorary Oscar in 2000, are among the 63 films that have qualified for Oscar consideration in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' foreign-language film category.

The list runs to a record number of 63 entries, including first-time submissions from Azerbaijan (Farid Gumbatov's "Caucasia") and Ireland (Tom Collins' "Kings," which contains Gaelic dialogue).

In the case of Israel, the Academy turned down Eran Kolirin's "The Band's Visit," the country's official submission because it had too much English dialogue. So, Israel will be represented by Joseph Cedar's "Beaufort," which revolves around a group of Israeli soldiers in an isolated outpost and which is in Hebrew.

Nominations for the 80th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 22, and the Oscars will be handed out Feb. 24.

A complete list follows:

Argentina, "XXY"; Australia, "The Home Song Stories"; Austria, "The Counterfeiters"; Azerbaijan, "Caucasia"; Bangladesh, "On the Wings of Dreams"; Belgium, "Ben X"; Bosnia and Herzegovina, "It's Hard to Be Nice"; Brazil, "The Year My Parents Went on Vacation"; Bulgaria, "Warden of the Dead"; Canada, "Days of Darkness"; Chile, "Padre Nuestro"; China, "The Knot"; Colombia, "Satanas"; Croatia, "Armin"; Cuba, "The Silly Age"; Czech Republic, "I Served the King of England"; Denmark, "The Art of Crying"; Egypt, "In the Heliopolis Flat"; Estonia, "The Class"; Finland, "A Man's Job"; France, "Persepolis"; Georgia, "The Russian Triangle"; Germany, "The Edge of Heaven"; Greece, "Eduart"; Hong Kong, "Exiled"; Hungary, "Taxidermia"; Iceland, "Jar City"; India, "Eklavya — the Royal Guard"; Indonesia, "Denias, Singing on the Cloud"; Iran, "M for Mother"; Iraq, "Jani Gal"; Ireland, "Kings"; Israel, "Beaufort"; Italy, "The Unknown"; Japan, "I Just Didn't Do It"; Kazakhstan, "Mongol"; Korea, "Secret Sunshine"; Lebanon, "Caramel"; Luxembourg, "Little Secrets"; Macedonia, "Shadows"; Mexico, "Silent Light"; the Netherlands, "Duska"; Norway, "Gone With the Woman"; Peru, "Crossing a Shadow"; Philippines, "Donsol"; Poland, "Katyn"; Portugal, "Belle Toujours"; Puerto Rico, "Love Sickness"; Romania, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"; Russia, "12"; Serbia, "The Trap"; Singapore, "881"; Slovakia, "Return of the Storks"; Slovenia, "Short Circuits"; Spain, "The Orphanage"; Sweden, "You, the Living"; Switzerland, "Late Bloomers"; Taiwan, "Island Etude"; Thailand, "King of Fire"; Turkey, "A Man's Fear of God"; Uruguay, "The Pope's Toilet"; Venezuela, "Postcards From Leningrad"; Vietnam, "The White Silk Dress."