The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences winnowed down
76 foreign films to nine in the first phase of the nomination
process. The five nominees for the Oscar award will be announced
on January 16.
Cambodia's French-language documentary "The Missing Picture,"
which uses clay figurines to tell the story of the bloody reign
of the Khmer Rouge government, made the list, taking a step
closer to becoming the country's first film to score an Oscar
Director Hany Abu-Assad, whose 2005 film "Paradise Now" earned
Palestine's only Oscar foreign-language nomination, made the
list with thriller "Omar."
Bosnia and Herzegovina, which won the Oscar statuette in 2002
for "No Man's Land" in the only instance it earned a nomination,
made the short list with the drama "An Episode in the Life of an
Drama "The Great Beauty" from Italy, which has won a record 13
best foreign picture Oscars as a country, and Danish drama "The
Hunt" starring Mads Mikkelsen also made the list a week after
both films picked up Golden Globe award nominations for best
foreign language film.
Belgian Flemish-language drama "The Broken Circle Breakdown,"
German thriller "Two Lives" and Hungarian drama "The Notebook"
also made the short list.
Acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai's ode to Kung Fu, "The
Grandmaster," made the list. The art house director, considered
one of the world's top filmmakers and best-known for dramas "Chungking
Express" and "In the Mood for Love," has never had a film
nominated for an Oscar.
Notably absent from the list was Iranian domestic drama "The
Past" starring French actress Berenice Bejo and directed by
Asghar Farhadi, whose 2011 drama "A Separation" won the best
foreign language Oscar.
France's coming-of-age lesbian love story "Blue Is the Warmest
Color" was also absent as its release in France did not make the
September 30 deadline to be eligible for submission.
The annual Academy Awards, Hollywood's top film honors, will be
handed out on March 2.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing
by Patricia Reaney and Matthew Lewis)
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