Oscar 2008: Eldorado Is Belgium's Foreign-Language Oscar Entry

Sep 15, 2008–Having played successfully at the 2008 Cannes Film Fest, Bouli Lanners¬ís “Eldorado” was chosen as Belgian hopeful for the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar.

The national selection committee, presided by director Marion H?§nsel, announced its decision on Friday. Unsurprisingly, their choice fell on the Belgian hit of 2008.

The committee seem to have adopted a strategy of alternating between Francophone and Dutch-language films over the last few years, as was shown in the selection of Erik Van Looy¬ís “The Alzheimer Case” in 2004, the Dardenne brothers¬í “The Child” in 2006, and Ben Balthazar¬ís “Ben X” in 2007.

To date, only six Belgian films have made it onto the final shortlist, the last being Lieven Debrauwer¬ís “Pauline and Paulette” in 2002. No Belgian production has ever won the Oscar, but two Belgian co-productions have won honours in Los Angeles: Marleen Gorris¬í “Antonia¬ís Line” in 1995, and Danis Tanovic¬ís “No Man¬ís Land” in 2002.

On January 22, 2009, the Academy will disclose the five Oscar contenders.

Meanwhile, “Eldorado” continues to enjoy success and is still showing in five Belgian theatres. Since its release, the film has attracted over 40,000 viewers, which is impressive for a Belgian Francophone film.

“Eldorado” has performed less well than the Dardenne brothers¬í Cannes prize-winner “Lorna¬ís Silence”, which has exceeded 30,000 admissions in two weeks on release, but better than the Dardennes' “The Son.” In France, “Eldorado” has drawn over 100,000 viewers and is still showing on 67 screens.