Oscar 2007: Nine Foreign-Lingo Films on Academy's Short List

January 15, 2008–The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced nine films selected as finalists in the foreign-language film category.

Of the 63 films originally submitted in the foreign-language Oscar category, nine have proceeded into the Academys latest voting round.

The finalists are:

Stefan Ruzowitzky's “The Counterfeiters,” from Austria;
Cao Hamburger's “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation,” from Brazil;
Denys Arcand's “Days of Darkness,” from Canada; Joseph Cedar's “Beaufort,” from Israel;
Giuseppe Tornatore's “The Unknown,” from Italy; Sergei Bodrov's “Mongol,” from Kazakhstan; Andrzej Wajda's “Katyn,” from Poland;
Nikita Mikhalkov's “12,” from Russia;
Srdan Golubovic's “The Trap,” from Serbia.

Among the notable omissions are: France's entry, the original animation “Persepolis,” which won a prize at Cannes, as well as the N.Y. and L.A. Critics Award for best animated film and a National Board of Review kudo.

Also absent is Romania's highly acclaimed feature, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days,” which won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or, the European Film Awards and Best Foreign Language Film from the L.A. and the Chicago Film Critics.

Spains The Orphanage, which has drawn strong reviews as well as solid boxoffice for Picturehouse, also missed the cut.

Italian Tornatore's “Cinema Paradiso” had won the 1990 foreign lnaguage Oscar, and Russian Mikhalkov's “Burnt by the Sun,” the 1994 award.

Israeli films have been Oscar-nominated before, but none has won so far.

The submissions for the section come from committees from each of the countries, not an independent, outside selection body.

The five finalists will be announced on Tuesday, January 22, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, along with the nominees in all the other categories.

Members of AMPAS participated in the first round of voting. The second phase, to be held following screenings from Jan. 18-20 in Hollywood and New York, will involve 10 randomly appointed members from the first committee plus two handpicked groups of 10 members in both Hollywood and Gotham. Those 30 voters will winnow the list down to the final five nominees.