There was some doubt as to whether or not Iran would submit writer/director Asghar Farhadi‘s The Past starring Berenice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Ali Mosaffa and a breakout performance from Pauline Burlet as their official entry into the 2014 Oscar’s Foreign Language Feature Film seeing how it was produced, shot and financed in France. As was noted by France 24 (via Deadline), the Fars News Agency (which is considered close to Iranian conservatives) has criticized the decision saying, “Contrary to A Separation, there is nothing Iranian in this film apart from a character who could have come from any other country… It would have been preferable to select a purely Iranian film.”
I can understand where they are coming from, but I must say I’m happy to see the film among the films considered after France decided to go with Renoir over The Past. I caught the film in Cannes earlier this year and in here.
In addition to The Past, I’ve added ten other new films to the list of films submitted for consideration in the Foreign Language category at this year’s Oscars. Among them is Hany Abu-Assad‘s Omar from Palestine, which won the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and LucÃa Puenzo‘s Wakolda, which was also part of the Un Certain Regard selection.
Also, Israel has submit Yuval Adler‘s Bethlehem, which recently played in Telluride, Toronto and Venice and just went on to the Haifa Film Festival where it won both the Best Israeli Film Award and Best Actor award for star Tsahi Halevy. The film also won six awards at the Ophir Awards (Israel’s Oscars) over the weekend including picture, director, screenplay, supporting actor, editing and casting. Adopt Films recently acquired the film for domestic distribution.
The additional titles added to the list are directly below and you can click here for the full list of 67 titles and links for more information on nearly all of them.