BEVERLY HILLS, CA – A record 71 countries, including first-time entrant Kenya, have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 85th Academy Awards®.

The 2012 submissions are:

  • Afghanistan, “The Patience Stone,” Atiq Rahimi, director;
  • Albania, “Pharmakon,” Joni Shanaj, director;
  • Algeria, “Zabana!” Said Ould Khelifa, director;
  • Argentina, “Clandestine Childhood,” Benjamín Ávila, director;
  • Armenia, “If Only Everyone,” Natalia Belyauskene, director;
  • Australia, “Lore,” Cate Shortland, director;
  • Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director;
  • Azerbaijan, “Buta,” Ilgar Najaf, director;
  • Bangladesh, “Pleasure Boy Komola,” Humayun Ahmed, director;
  • Belgium, “Our Children,” Joachim Lafosse, director;
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Children of Sarajevo,” Aida Begic, director;
  • Brazil, “The Clown,” Selton Mello, director;
  • Bulgaria, “Sneakers,” Valeri Yordanov and Ivan Vladimirov, directors;

  • Cambodia, “Lost Loves,” Chhay Bora, director;
  • Canada, “War Witch,” Kim Nguyen, director;
  • Chile, “No,” Pablo Larraín, director;
  • China, “Caught in the Web,” Chen Kaige, director;
  • Colombia, “The Snitch Cartel,” Carlos Moreno, director;
  • Croatia, “Vegetarian Cannibal,” Branko Schmidt, director;
  • Czech Republic, “In the Shadow,” David Ondrícek, director;
  • Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” Nikolaj Arcel, director;
  • Dominican Republic, “Jaque Mate,” José María Cabral, director;
  • Estonia, “Mushrooming,” Toomas Hussar, director;
  • Finland, “Purge,” Antti J. Jokinen, director;
  • France, “The Intouchables,” Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors;
  • Georgia, “Keep Smiling,” Rusudan Chkonia, director;
  • Germany, “Barbara,” Christian Petzold, director;
  • Greece, “Unfair World,” Filippos Tsitos, director;
  • Greenland, “Inuk,” Mike Magidson, director;
  • Hong Kong, “Life without Principle,” Johnnie To, director;
  • Hungary, “Just the Wind,” Bence Fliegauf, director;
  • Iceland, “The Deep,” Baltasar Kormákur, director;
  • India, “Barfi!” Anurag Basu, director;
  • Indonesia, “The Dancer,” Ifa Isfansyah, director;
  • Israel, “Fill the Void,” Rama Burshtein, director;
  • Italy, “Caesar Must Die,” Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani, directors;
  • Japan, “Our Homeland,” Yang Yonghi, director;
  • Kazakhstan, “Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe,” Akan Satayev, director;
  • Kenya, “Nairobi Half Life,” David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga, director;
  • Kyrgyzstan, “The Empty Home,” Nurbek Egen, director;
  • Latvia, “Gulf Stream under the Iceberg,” Yevgeny Pashkevich, director;
  • Lithuania, “Ramin,” Audrius Stonys, director;
  • Macedonia, “The Third Half,” Darko Mitrevski, director;
  • Malaysia, “Bunohan,” Dain Iskandar Said, director;
  • Mexico, “After Lucia,” Michel Franco, director;
  • Morocco, “Death for Sale,” Faouzi Bensaïdi, director;
  • Netherlands, “Kauwboy,” Boudewijn Koole, director;
  • Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors;
  • Palestine, “When I Saw You,” Annemarie Jacir, director;
  • Peru, “The Bad Intentions,” Rosario García-Montero, director;
  • Philippines, “Bwakaw,” Jun Robles Lana, director;
  • Poland, “80 Million,” Waldemar Krzystek, director;
  • Portugal, “Blood of My Blood,” João Canijo, director;
  • Romania, “Beyond the Hills,” Cristian Mungiu, director;
  • Russia, “White Tiger,” Karen Shakhnazarov, director;
  • Serbia, “When Day Breaks,” Goran Paskaljevic, director;
  • Singapore, “Already Famous,” Michelle Chong, director;
  • Slovak Republic, “Made in Ash,” Iveta Grófová, director;
  • Slovenia, “A Trip,” Nejc Gazvoda, director;
  • South Africa, “Little One,” Darrell James Roodt, director;
  • South Korea, “Pieta,” Kim Ki-duk, director;
  • Spain, “Blancanieves,” Pablo Berger, director;
  • Sweden, “The Hypnotist,” Lasse Hallström, director;
  • Switzerland, “Sister,” Ursula Meier, director;
  • Taiwan, “Touch of the Light,” Chang Jung-Chi, director;
  • Thailand, “Headshot,” Pen-ek Ratanaruang, director;
  • Turkey, “Where the Fire Burns,” Ismail Gunes, director;
  • Ukraine, “The Firecrosser,” Mykhailo Illienko, director;
  • Uruguay, “The Delay,” Rodrigo Plá, director;
  • Venezuela, “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” Hernán Jabes, director;
  • Vietnam, “The Scent of Burning Grass,” Nguyen Huu Muoi, director.

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at The Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

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  • Lore, Amour, Children of Sarajevo, War Witch, No, A Royal Affair, Barbara, Life Without Principle, Just the Wind, The Deep, Fill the Void, Caesar Must Die, After Lucia, Kauwboy, Beyond the Hills, Pieta, Sister…

    All these acclaimed titles, if The Intouchables makes it in, it’ll be a fucking travesty.

    With that selection, this could be the strongest Foreign Language Film lineup in Oscar history to this date. Pick any five of that list and it would be better than most year’s Best Picture lineups.

  • Maxim

    These are strong words Paddy. The problem with relying on acclaim alone is that you may still, in the end of the day, disagree with it. The Intouchables (which I haven’t seen), for all it’s detractors seemed to have a fair share of acclaim too, from certain critical circles. One has to see the films to know.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    You take five “frontrunners” (aka most known titles) and only, like, two of them eventually get in. That’s how it’s been a few years now.

    Those five could be:

    Amour (gets in)
    The Intouchables
    Pieta (gets in)

    The rules of predicting this category are hard.

    1.) Forget previous years. Voters don’t care which country was nominated the most with no wins (or you may ask Poland or Mexico here). The films matter, and that is great.

    2.) Popularity and the amount of other nominations in various categories take you nowhere. Amélie and Pan’s Labyrinth are good proofs.

    3.) While predicting, don’t let your patriotism affect you. I learnt this very well earlier this year.

    4.) The best reviewed films often don’t make it. 4 Months…, Of Gods and Men and Le Havre are good examples. A Separation was actually a rarity.

    5.) Cannes means shit.

    Got any other rules?

  • Academy members are required to watch all the nominated films before voting, so their choice often reflects the Academy’s tastes very vividly. Recently, there’s been a drive to ensure more edgy fare is included in the lineup, but just when they could pick Dogtooth or Biutiful, they pick In a Better World instead. Just when they could pick The White Ribbon or A Prophet, they pick The Secret in Their Eyes instead (a good film, mind you).

    Don’t think Pieta will make it, though. It may have won the Golden Lion, but many disliked the film, and it sounds deeply unlike the kind of film the Academy likes. Dogtooth is a similar example, but the acclaim for it was considerably stronger.

  • And, yeah, A Separation surprised me. Didn’t think it’d make it as far as a nomination, never mind the win. Actually thought they’d pick In Darkness instead, pessimistically.

    Also, I wholly expect The Intouchables to be nominated, and then win, of course.

  • Maxim

    “Popularity and the amount of other nominations in various categories take you nowhere.”

    This is exactly the kind of a sweeping generalization that I would suggest avoiding. Popularity and the amount of other nominations may not guarantee a win but they certainly helped both of the movies you used as an example (and both of which I find overrated) to get nominated in the first place. This is just one of many dimensions that shouldn’t really be considered by themselves. Look at what happened last year.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Oh well, The Lives of Others deserved to win and I predicted that it would.

  • m1

    Oh well, The Lives of Others deserved to win and I predicted that it would.

    No. Pan’s Labyrinth should have won, even though The Lives of Others is a great movie.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Hmm. I just read that The Intouchables was the first screener sent out to Academy members this year. Harvey Weinstein started this whole thing already.

  • Popularity and the amount of other nominations…certainly helped [Amelie and Pan’s Labyrinth] to get nominated in the first place.

    This is almost never the truth. You’re neglecting the influence of the structure of the Academy on the nomination process. Obviously, Amelie and Pan’s Labyrinth were nominated due to their popularity, but it has nothing to do with the amount of nominations they received in other categories. Other than those on the foreign language film committees, the writers, cinematographers, production designers, sound designers, make-up artists and composers who nominated those two films had nothing to do with their respective nominations for Foreign Language Film.

  • Paddy M > I’m still waiting on your example of a film that grossed 15k/theater on 300-something screens that wasn’t impressive.


  • It’s a mistake: “No”(look the list of favorites) it’s not Brazilian, is Chilean. The Brazilian film is “The clown.”

  • murtaza

    nope, lives of others won correctly and i thank a million to academy they it picked the right one. Pan’s was a very good movie but Oscar was always of Lives of Others. p.s.
    A separation was better than 4 months, a lot better that’s why it was nominated and won.

  • Gez

    Lives of Others is much better than Pans. Right film won. Hope to see Lore tomorrow.

  • Wellington

    I’d say The movie “The Clown” from Brazil is in the game too… IF Brazil really makes a very good campaing, because the movie worths at least the nomination. It’s a simple, but so touching and true production.

  • Jesus Alonso

    Blancanieves is stylish, from the things I’ve seen, but Hollywood is likely to – wrongly – believe that it’s The Artist 2.

  • g

    Holy cow! I am so happy kontiki is Norway’s selection. That movie is amazeballs and features extremely good looking norweigian men who are really nice in person! Of course it’s going up against amour, which my friend saw and said was great…its super exciting to have 71 entries!

  • Jorge

    I’m glad to see that Indiewire puts Blood of My Blood (Sangue do Meu Sangue) the Portuguese entry as one of the TEN films to notice.

  • Alexandre Paixão

    Intouchables ~> I don’t understand how can people like this film. So unrealistic and sounds fake. I realy don’t like this movie. It’s not a bad film, mas it’s not good. I can’t even explain that. There’s so many films in the world better then this.

    And one that deserves at least an indication: “The Clown” from Brazil! Simple, beautiful, lovely and with a escelent history! Everybody needs see this movie. Sounds like “The Artist”.

  • Calvin

    “The Clown” is excelent! Funny, touching and philosophical.

  • Cristian

    The seven pre-selected films are :

    1) Switzerland, L’Enfant d’en haut, 2) Romania, După dealuri, 3) Norway, Kon-Tiki, 4) Iceland, Djúpið, 5) France, Intouchables, 6) Chile, No, 7) Canada. War Witch, 8) Austria, Amour.

    My selection

    1) Amour, Austria
    2) Kon-Tiki, Norway
    3) No, Chile
    4) The Intouchables, France.
    5) War Witch, Canada

    Winner: No, chile

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