Oscar 2008: Foreign Language Short List

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has narrowed down its foreign-language contenders to nine semi-finalists. The five nominees will be announced, along with other categories, on January 22, 2009.

There had been 65 films that qualify. The nine are:

Austria, “Revanche,” Gotz Spielmann, director
Canada, “The Necessities of Life,” Benoit Pilon, director
France, “The Class,” Laurent Cantet, director
Germany, “The Baader Meinhof Complex,” Uli Edel, director
Israel, “Waltz with Bashir,” Ari Folman, director
Japan, “Departures,” Yojiro Takita, director
Mexico, “Tear This Heart Out,” Roberto Sneider, director
Sweden, “Everlasting Moments,” Jan Troell, director
Turkey, “3 Monkeys,” Nuri Bilge Ceylan, director.

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 65 eligible films between mid-October and January 10.  That group's top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy's foreign-language film award executive committee, constitute the shortlist.

The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five 2008 nominees by specially selected committees in New York and Los Angeles. The committee members will spend this Friday, Saturday and Sunday viewing three of the films each day.