Russia submits ‘Leviathan’ as Cannes films heat up the Foreign Oscar race

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leviathan
There was some doubt at first, but Russia has decided to submit the highly acclaimed Leviathan for Best Foreign Language Film. Due to the anti-corruption themes and language (anti-swearing laws had initially prevented it from obtaining a screening permit), many thought that the film would be passed over by the country’s selection committee. However, it now seems that the strength of the film (winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes) was too big to ignore. Leviathan now joins 9 other films that screened at Cannes over the last two years. These include recently announced submissions like Saint Laurent (France), Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel) and Norte, the End of History (Philippines).

The longlist saw some other interesting developments since our last update. There was another first time entrant in Kosovo’s Three Windows and a Hanging, directed by Isa Qosja. The Academy should also be curious about the intriguingly titled Life in a Fishbowl, a film that has already been proclaimed one of the best Icelandic films of all time. Finally, the Tribeca Film Festival will have representation in the race (after Zero Motivation’s bizarre loss at the Ophir Awards last Sunday) by Italy’s Human Capital. Most pundits assumed it would be Cannes Grand Prix winner The Wonders, but the selection committee smartly went for the more established hit. This neo-noir from director Paolo Virzi dominated this year’s David di Donatello Awards (beating Oscar champ The Great Beauty) and won Best Actress at Tribeca.

With the deadline only a few days away, the list seems almost complete at 66 films. The record (76 submissions) is still in sight however, as we await word from expected participants such as Argentina, Australia, China, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Here’s the current list of submissions:

A Few Cubic Meters of Love – Afghanistan
The Dark Valley – Austria
Glow of the Firefly – Bangladesh
Two Days, One Night – Belgium
Olvidados – Bolivia
With Mom – Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Way He Looks – Brazil
Bulgarian Rhapsody – Bulgaria
Mommy – Canada
To Kill a Man – Chile
Mateo – Colombia
Cowboys – Croatia
Fair Play – Czech Republic
Sorrow and Joy – Denmark
Cristo Rey – Dominican Republic
The Factory Girl – Egypt
Tangerines – Estonia
Concrete Night – Finland
Saint Laurent – France
Corn Island – Georgia
Beloved Sisters – Germany
Little England – Greece
The Golden Era – Hong Kong
White God – Hungary
Life in a Fishbowl – Iceland
Liar’s Dice – India
Today – Iran
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem – Israel
Human Capital – Italy
The Light Shines Only There – Japan
Three Windows and a Hanging – Kosovo
Rocks in My Pockets – Latvia
The Gambler – Lithuania
Never Die Young – Luxembourg
To the Hilt – Macedonia
Timbuktu – Mauritania
Cantinflas – Mexico
The Boys from Marx and Engels Street – Montenegro
The Red Moon – Morocco
Jhola – Nepal
Accused – Netherlands
The Dead Lands – New Zealand
1001 Grams – Norway
Dukhtar – Pakistan
Eyes of a Thief – Palestine
Invasion – Panama
The Gospel of the Flesh – Peru
Norte, the End of History – Philippines
Ida – Poland
What Now? Remind Me – Portugal
The Japanese Dog – Romania
Leviathan – Russia
See You in Montevideo – Serbia
My Beloved Dearest – Singapore
A Step Into the Dark – Slovakia
Seduce Me – Slovenia
Sea Fog – South Korea
Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed – Spain
Force Majeure – Sweden
The Circle – Switzerland
Ice Poison – Taiwan
Teacher’s Diary – Thailand
Winter Sleep – Turkey
The Guide – Ukraine
Mr. Kaplan – Uruguay
The Liberator – Venezuela