Two works from female filmmakers have been chosen as their countries’ selections for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
Hong Kong has submitted Ann Hui’s The Golden Era as its pick. The period drama centers on the woman writer Xiao Hong, who wrote short stories, memoirs, and journalistic accounts of Japanese imperialism in China. She died in 1942 at the age of 30. The film screened at Venice and Toronto earlier this year, and it will receive a gala showcase at the upcoming Busan International Film Festival, where Hui will receive the Asian Filmmaker of the Year award.
Latvian-American animator Signe Baumane’s Rocks in My Pockets was nominated as Latvia’s selection. Rocks in My Pockets is Baumane’s autobiographical "funny film about depression," made with papier-mache, stop-motion and hand-drawn animation, centering on five women in the director’s family and their struggles with depression and mental illness. (Read Women and Hollywood’s interview with Baumane about Rockets in My Pockets.)
Each country nominates a single film for the Best Foreign Language Film category. The list of every participating country’s candidate will be winnowed down to five official nominees as Oscar season progresses.
Three women-directed works have won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar: Marleen Gorris’ Antonia’s Line (1995), Caroline Link’s Nowhere in Africa (2002), Susanne Bier’s In a Bettter World (2010).