Oscars: 80 Countries Qualify for Best Foreign Language Film

Newcomer Paraguay joins hopefuls like Austria’s “Goodnight Mommy” and Germany’s “Labyrinth of Lies”

Last Updated: November 15, 2015 @ 3:30 PM

A total of 80 countries will be competing in the Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film, the Academy announced on Thursday.

The number is shy of last year’s record of 83, ending a three-year streak in which the field set a new record for entries each year.

The Academy initially announced that 81 films had qualified, but it later disqualified the Afghan entry, “Utopia,” for containing too much English dialogue.

The most acclaimed film of the field so far is the Hungarian entry, Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul,” which won the jury prize at Cannes and will be released in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics.

Other titles that have high profiles though U.S. release or film-festival exposure include the Austrian horror movie “Goodnight Mommy,” Belgium’s “The Brand New Testament,” Brazil’s “The Second Mother,” Colombia’s “Embrace of the Serpent,” Croatia’s “The High Sun,” France’s “Mustang,” Germany’s “Labyrinth of Lies,” Iceland’s “Rams,” Lithuania’s “The Summer of Sangaile,” Norway’s “The Wave,” Palestine’s “The Wanted 18,” Poland’s “11 Minutes,” Portugal’s “Arabian Nights: Volume 2 – The Desolate One,” Romania’s “Aferim!,” Sweden’s “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” and Taiwan’s “The Assassin.”

Several of the films, including “The Summer of Sangaile,” Ireland’s “Viva” and the Dominican Republic’s “Sand Dollars,” address LGBT themes.

A number are directed or co-directed by women, including “Goodnight Mommy,” “The Second Mother,” “Sand Dollars,” “Mustang,” “The Summer of Sangaile,” “Bota” (Albania), “Our Everyday Life” (Bosnia and Herzegovina), “You Carry Me” (Montenegro) and “The Tree” (Slovenia).

While China initially announced that it had submitted the epic “Wolf Totem,” directed by Frenchman Jean-Jacques Annaud, the official Chinese entry is instead “Go Away Mr. Tumor,” by Han Yan.

Another film announced as a submission by its home country, Panama’s documentary “Box 25,” is also missing from the list.

An executive committee considers each submitted film to make sure it meets eligibility requirements, which include release dates in its country or origin, and the amount of creative control exercised by filmmakers from that country.

The films will be screened for Academy members beginning on Monday, Oct. 19, with screenings continuing several nights a week until December. Volunteer members from all branches of the Academy who see a minimum number of nominees will make up the “general committee,” and will score each film on a scale of 4 to 10.

The top six films, as determined by average scores, will make a shortlist, along with three additional films selected by a hand-picked executive committee. Those nine films will then be screened for phase-two committees in Los Angeles, New York and London over three days in January, with those committee members’ votes determining the five nominees.

Read the full list of entries:

Albania, “Bota,” Iris Elezi, Thomas Logoreci, directors;

Algeria, “Twilight of Shadows,” Mohamed Lakhdar Hamina, director;

Argentina, “The Clan,” Pablo Trapero, director;

Australia, “Arrows of the Thunder Dragon,” Greg Sneddon, director;

Austria, “Goodnight Mommy,” Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala, directors;

Bangladesh, “Jalal’s Story,” Abu Shahed Emon, director;

Belgium, “The Brand New Testament,” Jaco Van Dormael, director;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Our Everyday Story,” Ines Tanović, director;

Brazil, “The Second Mother,” Anna Muylaert, director;

Bulgaria, “The Judgment,” Stephan Komandarev, director;

Cambodia, “The Last Reel,” Sotho Kulikar, director;

Canada, “Félix and Meira,” Maxime Giroux, director;

Chile, “The Club,” Pablo Larraín, director;

China, “Go Away Mr. Tumor,” Han Yan, director;

Colombia, “Embrace of the Serpent,” Ciro Guerra, director;

Costa Rica, “Imprisoned,” Esteban Ramírez, director;

Croatia, “The High Sun,” Dalibor Matanić, director;

Czech Republic, “Home Care,” Slavek Horak, director;

Denmark, “A War,” Tobias Lindholm, director;

Dominican Republic, “Sand Dollars,” Laura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas, directors;

Estonia, “1944,” Elmo Nüganen, director;

Ethiopia, “Lamb,” Yared Zeleke, director;

Finland, “The Fencer,” Klaus Härö, director;

France, “Mustang,” Deniz Gamze Ergüven, director;

Georgia, “Moira,” Levan Tutberidze, director;

Germany, “Labyrinth of Lies,” Giulio Ricciarelli, director;

Greece, “Xenia,” Panos H. Koutras, director;

Guatemala, “Ixcanul,” Jayro Bustamante, director;

Hong Kong, “To the Fore,” Dante Lam, director;

Hungary, “Son of Saul,” László Nemes, director;

Iceland, “Rams,” Grímur Hákonarson, director;

India, “Court,” Chaitanya Tamhane, director;

Iran, “Muhammad: The Messenger of God,” Majid Majidi, director;

Iraq, “Memories on Stone,” Shawkat Amin Korki, director;

Ireland, “Viva,” Paddy Breathnach, director;

Israel, “Baba Joon,” Yuval Delshad, director;

Italy, “Don’t Be Bad,” Claudio Caligari, director;

Ivory Coast, “Run,” Philippe Lacôte, director;

Japan, “100 Yen Love,” Masaharu Take, director;

Jordan, “Theeb,” Naji Abu Nowar, director;

Kazakhstan, “Stranger,” Yermek Tursunov, director;

Kosovo, “Babai,” Visar Morina, director;

Kyrgyzstan, “Heavenly Nomadic,” Mirlan Abdykalykov, director;

Latvia, “Modris,” Juris Kursietis, director;

Lebanon, “Void,” Naji Bechara, Jad Beyrouthy, Zeina Makki, Tarek Korkomaz, Christelle Ighniades, Maria Abdel Karim, Salim Haber, directors;

Lithuania, “The Summer of Sangaile,” Alanté Kavaïté, director;

Luxembourg, “Baby (A)lone,” Donato Rotunno, director;

Macedonia, “Honey Night,” Ivo Trajkov, director;

Malaysia, “Men Who Save the World,” Liew Seng Tat, director;

Mexico, “600 Miles,” Gabriel Ripstein, director;

Montenegro, “You Carry Me,” Ivona Juka, director;

Morocco, “Aida,” Driss Mrini, director;

Nepal, “Talakjung vs Tulke,” Basnet Nischal, director;

Netherlands, “The Paradise Suite,” Joost van Ginkel, director;

Norway, “The Wave,” Roar Uthaug, director;

Pakistan, “Moor,” Jami, director;

Palestine, “The Wanted 18,” Amer Shomali, Paul Cowan, directors;

Paraguay, “Cloudy Times,” Arami Ullón, director;

Peru, “NN,” Héctor Gálvez, director;

Philippines, “Heneral Luna,” Jerrold Tarog, director;

Poland, “11 Minutes,” Jerzy Skolimowski, director;

Portugal, “Arabian Nights – Volume 2, The Desolate One,” Miguel Gomes, director;

Romania, “Aferim!” Radu Jude, director;

Russia, “Sunstroke,” Nikita Mikhalkov, director;

Serbia, “Enclave,” Goran Radovanović, director;

Singapore, “7 Letters,” Royston Tan, Kelvin Tong, Eric Khoo, Jack Neo, Tan Pin Pin, Boo Junfeng, K. Rajagopal, directors;

Slovakia, “Goat,” Ivan Ostrochovský, director;

Slovenia, “The Tree,” Sonja Prosenc, director;

South Africa, “The Two of Us,” Ernest Nkosi, director;

South Korea, “The Throne,” Lee Joon-ik, director;

Spain, “Flowers,” Jon Garaño, Jose Mari Goenaga, directors;

Sweden, “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence,” Roy Andersson, director;

Switzerland, “Iraqi Odyssey,” Samir, director;

Taiwan, “The Assassin,” Hou Hsiao-hsien, director;

Thailand, “How to Win at Checkers (Every Time),” Josh Kim, director;

Turkey, “Sivas,” Kaan Müjdeci, director;

United Kingdom, “Under Milk Wood,” Kevin Allen, director;

Uruguay, “A Moonless Night,” Germán Tejeira, director;

Venezuela, “Gone with the River,” Mario Crespo, director;

Vietnam, “Jackpot,” Dustin Nguyen, director.

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