Oscar 2009: Foreign Language Nominees–Finalists

Nine films, include the Festival de Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The White Ribbon” (Germany’s entry) and Grand Jury Prize winner, “A Prophet,” have made it to the next phase in the contest for the 2009 best foreign-language film Oscar.

Sixty-five countries submitted movies for Oscar consideration, and on Wednesday that list was winnowed down to nine.

In addition to Michael Haneke’s “White Ribbon,” from Germany, they are:

Juan Jose Campanella’s “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” from Argentina;
Warwick Thornton’s “Samson & Delilah,” Australia;
Stephan Komandarev’s “The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner,” Bulgaria;
Jacques Audiard’s “Un Prophete,” France;
Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani’s “Ajami,” Israel;
Ermek Tursunov’s “Kelin,” Kazakhstan;
Martin Koolhoven’s “Winer in Wartime,” the Netherlands;

Claudia Llosa’s “The Milk of Sorrow,” Peru.

Films that failed to make the cut include the Canadian feature “I Killed My Mother,” directed by Xavier Dolan; China’s “Forever Enthralled,” from Chen Kaige; Korea’s “Mother,” from Joon-ho Bong; and Romania’s “Police, Adjective,” from Cornuliu Porumboiu.

The shortlist was determined by a committee of several hundred Los Angeles-based member of the Academy, who screened the eligible films beginning in October. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s foreign-language film award executive committee, constitute the shortlist.

In the voting process’ second phase, specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles will view three films each day from January  29-31 and cast their ballots.

Five films will be nominated, and those choices will be announced February 2.