Last year, a record 71 countries submitted titles for Oscar consideration in the Best Foreign Language category. A short list of nine films eligible were listed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just before Christmas and five nominees were announced in January. Amour, which won the Cannes Palme d'Or and had its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival, eventually won the prize.
This year's Palme d'Or winner, Blue Is the Warmest Color (which will also debut at NYFF Stateside) will not be eligible for Oscar consideration in the Best Foreign Language category because of a quirk in the rules. The coming-of-age drama directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and starring Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux does not satisfy an Academy rule that requires that a film must have a release in its home country by the end of September. Blue is due to be released in France October 9, according to The Guardian and therefore just missing the deadline for eligibility. The feature's French distributor, Wild Bunch, is holding firm to the date in France, which is considered a prime spot.
"They actually were going to do a qualification run in [Lille], the town where it was shot in northern France. But ultimately the French governing body said 'No'," said Jonathan Sehring, head of the film's U.S. distributor Sundance Selects/IFC Films as quoted in The Guardian. "It had to be a wide release in order for it to qualify … it's unfortunate." The company could delay the film's U.S. release in order to qualify for the 2015 list, but it is unlikely to do so. Like Amour, however, Blue could possibly receive nominations in other categories. In addition to the Best Foreign Language category which it eventually won, Amour was up for Best Picture, Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva), Best Director and Best Screenplay (both for Michael Haneke).
Twenty-seven countries, meanwhile, have given their selections to the Academy to date with the addition of Chile (Gloria by Sebastián Lelio which will have its U.S. debut at NYFF), Croatia (Halima's Path by Arsen Anton Ostojic), The Netherlands (Borgman by Alex van Warmerdam) and Pakistan (Zinda Bhaag by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi) in recent days, according to Screen Daily which is keeping a tally. Submissions for the category will continue until October. The 85th Academy Awards will take place March 2.
Current entries for Best Foregin Language Oscar consideration:
Australia, The Rocket, Kim Mordaunt
Austria, The Wall, Julian Pölsler
Bulgaria, Colour of the Chameleon, Emil Hristov
Chile, Gloria, Sebastián Lelio
Croatia, Halima’s Path, Arsen Anton Ostojić
Dominican Republic, Who’s the Boss?, Ronni Castillo
Finland, Disciple, Ulrika Bengts
Georgia, In Bloom, Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Groß
Germany, Two Lives, Georg Maas
Greece, Boy Eating The Bird’s Food, Ektoras Lygizos
Hungary, The Notebook, Janosz Szasz
Japan, The Great Passage, Yuya Ishii
Latvia, Mother, I Love You, Janis Nords
Luxembourg, Blind Spot, Christophe Wagner
Montenegro, Bad Destiny, Draško Đurović
Morocco, God’s Horses, Nabil Ayouch
Nepal, Soongava: Dance of the Orchids, Subarna Thapa
The Netherlands, Borgman, Alex van Warmerdam
New Zealand, White Lies, Dana Rotberg
Pakistan, Zinda Bhaag, Meenu Gaur, Farjad Nabi
Romania, Child’s Pose, Calin Peter Netzer
Serbia, Circles, Srdan Golubovic
Singapore, Ilo Ilo, Anthony Chen
South Korea, Juvenile Offender, Kang Yi-kwan
Sweden, Eat Sleep Die, Gabriela Pichler
Turkey, The Butterfly’s Dream, Yılmaz Erdoğan
Venezuela, Breach in the Silence, Luis Rodríguez, Andrés Rodríguez