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Time’s Up in the Oscar Foreign-Language Race

From Albania to Vietnam, it’s deadline day for countries competing in the Academy’s consistently controversial foreign-language category.

Another Oscar deadline: foreign-language films.

Due date: today, October 1, at 5 p.m.

Materials required: one print of the film, with “accurate English-language subtitles.” Official entry form. List of cast and credits. English-language synopsis of the film. Bio and photograph of the director. Photos from the film. Poster. Newspaper or magazine clipping advertising the film during its minimum seven-day run in its home country, dated between October 1, 2008, and September 30, 2009.

So far, we know of 64 official submissions. If recent history is any indication, fewer than 10 more countries will jump into the fray. (Last year, 67 films were eligible; the two previous years, it was 63 and 61.)

From here, volunteer committees drawn from across the Academy will go to work. Judging by what’s happened in the past, controversy will ensue.

My knee-jerk take, based on having seen precisely none of the films:

Best Bets: France, Germany. 

Good shots: Australia, Finland, Italy, Norway.

Dark horses: Chile, Kazakhstan, Korea, Taiwan.

Look good to me, but who knows what the voters will think: Denmark, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland.

It’s an honor just to be submitted: Philippines, Serbia.

(Photo: “The White Ribbon,” Germany; copyright Films du Losange, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)

Here’s the list of the submissions we know of so far. View an expanded list of foreign-language Oscar candidates, with artwork, synopses, comments and links, here.

Albania: "Alive"
Argentina: "The Secret in Their Eyes"
Armenia: "A Magician’s Autumn"
Australia: "Samson and Delilah"
Austria: "For a Moment, Freedom"
Bangladesh: "Beyond the Circle"
Belgium: "The Misfortunates"
Bolivia: "Southern Zone"
Bosnia and Herzegovina: "Night Guards"
Brazil: "Save General"
Bulgaria: "The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner"
Canada: "I Killed My Mother"
Chile: "Dawson, Island 10"
China: "Forever Enthralled"

Columbia: "The Wind Journeys"
Croatia: "Donkey"
Czech Republic: "Protector"
Denmark: "Terribly Happy"
Estonia: "December Heat"
Finland: "Letters to Father Jacob"
France: "A Prophet"
Georgia: "The Other Bank"
Germany: "The White Ribbon"
Greece: "Dogtooth"
Hong Kong: "Prince of Tears"
Hungary: "Chameleon"
Iceland: "Reykjavik-Rotterdam"
India: "Harishchandrachi Factory"
Indonesia: "Jamila and the President"
Iran: "About Elly"
Israel: "Ajami”
Italy: "Baaria"
Japan: "Nobody to Watch Over Me"
Kazakhstan: "Kelin"
Korea: "Mother"
Lithuania: "Waterhole"
Luxembourg: "Refractaire"
Macedonia: "Wingless"
Mexico: "Backyard"
Mongolia: "By the Will of Genghis Khan"
Morocco: "Casanegra"
Netherlands: "The Silent Army"
Norway: "Max Manus"
Peru: "The Milk of Sorrow"
The Philippines: "Ded na si Lolo"
Poland: "The Reverse"
Portugal: "Doomed Love"
Romania: "Police, Adjective"
Russia: "Ward No. 6"
Serbia: "St. George Shoots the Dragon"
Slovakia: "Broken Promise"
Slovenia: "Landscape No. 2"
South Africa: "White Wedding"
Spain: "The Dancer and the Thief"
Sri Lanka: "Flowers in the Sky"
Sweden: "Involuntary"
Switzerland: "Home"
Taiwan: "No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti"
Thailand: "Best in Time"
Turkey: "I Saw the Sun"

The United Kingdom: "Afghan Star"
Uruguay: "Bad Day to Go Fishing"
Venezuela: "Libertador Morales, El Justicero"
Vietnam: "Don’t Burn"