Oscar Foreign Language Category Down to Nine

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the nine films that have been shortlisted for the Foreign Language Film category for the 84th Annual Academy Awards, culled from the sixty-three films originally submitted. The countries whose films got in include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Iran, Israel, Morocco, Poland and Taiwan.

Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation just received the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Movie awards last week, and it was released by Sony Pictures Classics on December 30 in which time it has grossed $330 thousand. (You can read our review here and read an interview with the director here.)

Sony Pictures Classics will also be handling the release of Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness from Poland (out February 10) and Israel’s Footnote by Joseph Cedar (March 9).

Similarly, Wim Wender’s 3D performance doc Pina, Germany’s shortlisted submission, was released by IFC Films on December 23, and that’s grossed just under $600 thousand. (You can read our Toronto Film Festival review here.)

Canada’s shortlisted submission Monsieur Lazhar by Philippe Falardeau will be having its US premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this week. Look for our Sundance preview soon.

The other films include Michael Roskam’s Bullhead from Belgium, Denmark’s Superclásico by Ole Christian Madsen (Flame and Citron), Roschdy Zem’s Omar Killed Me, submitted by Morocco, and Wei Te-Sheng’s Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale from Taiwan. We don’t have information on any plans for their release in the States just yet, though we expect to hear something shortly.

The full press release from the Academy, including information on how these nine were selected, can be read below:

Nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 84th Academy Awards®. Sixty-three films had originally qualified in the category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Belgium, “Bullhead,” Michael R. Roskam, director;
Canada, “Monsieur Lazhar,” Philippe Falardeau, director;
Denmark, “Superclásico,” Ole Christian Madsen, director;
Germany, “Pina,” Wim Wenders, director;
Iran, “A Separation,” Asghar Farhadi, director;
Israel, “Footnote,” Joseph Cedar, director;
Morocco, “Omar Killed Me,” Roschdy Zem, director;
Poland, “In Darkness,” Agnieszka Holland, director;
Taiwan, “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale,” Wei Te-sheng, director.

Foreign Language Film nominations for 2011 are again being determined in two phases.

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 63 eligible films between mid-October and January 13. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles. They will spend Friday, January 20, through Sunday, January 22, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar® presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.