Eighth Commissioner, The: Croatia’s Submission for the Best Foreign Language Film

Croatia has selected Ivan Salaj’s Osmi povjerenik (The Eighth Commissioner) for its best foreign-language film Oscar.

Based on Renato Baretić’s 2003 best-selling novel, the film depicts an arrogant politician who is framed in a scandal involving sex and drugs.

To get the disgraced politician out of the spotlight, the government dispatches him to Croatia’s most remote island, where no internet access or mobile phone signal is available. He is assigned to organize the first valid election in that remote place, a task at which seven predecessors have already failed.

The Eighth Commissioner, which was released in Croatia in January, had its international premiere at the Munich film festival in July.

The Eighth Commissioner is the first feature for Salaj, who had previously made shorts and a TV movie.

Croatia has regularly entered films in the best foreign language Oscar contest since it became an independent state in 1992, but a Croatian film has never been nominated as one of the five finalists.