Don’t Be Bad: Low-Life Drama by the late Claudio Caligari is Italy’s Entry for Foreign Language Oscar

Italy has selected the late Claudio Caligari’s Non Essere Cattivo (Don’t Be Bad), a look at contemporary low life on Rome’s outskirts, as its candidate film for the Best Foreign-Language Oscar Award.

The gritty drama is set during the 1990s in Ostia, on the outskirts of Rome, in the world of synthetic drugs, cocaine, fast cars and nightclubs.

The film by the deceased director–Caligari died of cancer in May aged 67–received its world premiere at the Venice Film Fest.  It features an ensemble cast comprising Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Silvia D’Amico, Roberta Mattei.

Caligari is a cult dircetor whose three features include the heroin-dependancy drama “Amore Tossico” (1983) and the crimer “The Scent of the Night,” starring Mastandrea, which premiered in 1998 in Venice Fest.

The selection committee appointed by Italo motion picture association Anica chose Don’t Be Bad over several other titles which, unlike Caligari’s film, already have U.S. distribution in place, such as Nanni Moretti’s My Mother, and Laura Bispuri’s Sworn Virgin.

Italy’s more high-profile pictures from the Cannes Film Fest this year, Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth” and Matteo Garrone’s “The Tale of Tales,” were excluded because they are in English.

After the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) approves this year’s proposed foreign-language Oscar contenders, a select committee will reduce the submissions down to a short list of 9 titles.  Another committee then selects the five nominations which will be announced January 14, 2016.