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Palm Springs Film Festival Books 50 Oscar Foreign-Language Contenders

Hefty selection of awards hopefuls includes a number of frontrunners, as well as films picking up strong word-of-mouth after recent screenings


The 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival will screen 50 of the record 83 entries in the Academy Awards race for Best Foreign Language Film, continuing its longstanding tradition as the most exhaustive showcase for Oscar contenders outside of official AMPAS screenings.

The 50 films that make up PSIFF's Awards Buzz section were announced on Tuesday, as the first batch of festival programming to be revealed this year. All films will be viewed by a FIPRESCI jury, which will choose best picture, best actor and best actress awards from the eligible films.

The films include such frontrunners as Argentina's "Wild Tales," Belgium's "Two Days, One Night," Canada's "Mommy," Israel's "Gett, the Trial of Viviane Amsalem," Mauritania's "Timbuktu," Poland's "Ida," Russia's "Leviathan," Sweden's "Force Majeure" and Turkey's "Winter Sleep."

It also includes a number of films that have picked up strong word-of-mouth after Academy and other recent screenings, among them Brazil's "The Way He Looks," Croatia's "Cowboys," Estonia's "Tangerines," Georgia's "Corn Island," Greece's "Little England," Italy's "Human Capital," Norway's "1001 Grams" and Spain's "Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed."

[Photo at top: "Two Days, One Night," "Ida" and "Gett, the Trail of Viviane Amsalem."]

The festival runs from Jan. 2 through Jan. 12 in the desert resort town 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Its annual Awards Gala, which will be held on Jan. 3, has already announced that it will honor Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore, J.K. Simmons, Rosamund Pike and Richard Linklater, with additional honorees to follow.

The Awards Buzz section will consist of these films:

A Few Cubic Meters of Love (Afghanistan), Director Jamshid Mahmoudi
Wild Tales (Argentina), Director Damián Szifrón
Charlie's Country (Australia), Director Rolf de Heer
The Dark Valley (Austria), Director Andreas Prochaska
Nabat (Azerbaijan), Director Elchin Musaoglu                           
Two Days, One Night (Belgium/France/Italy), Directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
The Way He Looks (Brazil), Director Daniel Ribeiro
Mommy (Canada), Director Xavier Dolan
To Kill a Man
(Chile), Director Alejandro Fernández Almendras
The Nightingale (China), Director Philippe Muyl
(Colombia), Director Maria Gamboa
Cowboys (Croatia), Director Tomislav Mršić
(Cuba), Director Ernesto Daranas
Fair Play (Czech Republic), Director Andrea Sedláčková
Sorrow and Joy (Denmark), Director Nils Malmros
(Estonia), Director Zaza Urushadze
Concrete Night (Finland), Director Pirjo Honkasalo
Saint Laurent (France), Director Bertrand Bonello
Corn Island (Georgia), Director George Ovashvili
Beloved Sisters (Germany), Director Dominik Graf
Little England (Greece), Director Pantelis Voulgaris
The Golden Era (Hong Kong), Director Ann Hui
White God (Hungary), Director Kornél Mundruczó
Life in a Fishbowl (Iceland), Director Baldvin Zophoníasson
Liar's Dice (India), Director Geetu Mohandas
Today (Iran), Director Reza Mirkarimi
Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel), Directors Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz
Human Capital (Italy), Director Paolo Virzì
The Light Shines Only There (Japan), Director Mipo O
Three Windows and a Hanging (Kosovo), Director Isa Qosja
Kurmanjan Datka: Queen of the Mountains (Kyrgyzstan), Director Sadyk Sher-Niyaz
Rocks in My Pockets (Latvia), Director Signe Baumane
Ghadi (Lebanon), Director Amin Dora
Never Die Young (Luxembourg), Director Pol Cruchten
Timbuktu (Mauritania/France), Director Abderrahmane Sissako
Accused (Netherlands), Director Paula van der Oest
1001 Grams (Norway), Director Bent Hamer
Dukhtar (Pakistan), Director Afia Nathaniel
Eyes of a Thief (Palestine), Director Najwa Najjar
Norte, the End of History (Philippines), Director Lav Diaz
Ida (Poland), Director Pawel Pawlikowski
The Japanese Dog (Romania), Director Tudor Cristian Jurgiu
Leviathan (Russia), Director Andrey Zvyagintsev
See You in Montevideo (Serbia), Director Dragan Bjelogrlić
Sea Fog (South Korea), Director Sung-bo Shim
Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed (Spain), Director David Trueba
Force Majeure (Sweden), Director Ruben Ã-stlund
Winter Sleep (Turkey), Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan
The Guide (Ukraine), Director Oles Sanin
Mr. Kaplan (Uruguay), Director Álvaro Brechner