Romania, Sweden select Oscar contenders

'If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle,' 'Simple Simon' chosen

COLOGNE, Germany -- Two debut features from Europe have entered the race for the 2011 Foreign Language Oscar: Florin Serban's juvenile delinquent drama "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle," which will contend for Romania and "Simple Simon" from director Andreas Ohman, a tale of a boy dealing with Asperger's syndrome, which will represent Sweden.

"If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle" won the Silver Bear Jury Award as well as the Alfred Bauer Prize at this year's Berlin Film Festival. "Simple Simon" has been critically lauded in Sweden, where it bowed last week.

In the overall Oscar standings, Sweden has been nominated 15 times for the Foreign Language prize and won four -- three going to legendary auteur Ingmar Bergmann. Romania has yet to receive an Academy Award nomination in the Foreign Language Film category.