Wait a second. Can the U.K. submit a film for consideration for the Best Foreign Language Oscar?
Sure. As long as it’s not in English. Take last year: Ireland, not Cuba, submitted Spanish-language film “Viva.” And France controversially chose the Turkish “Mustang” as its official entry over a list of top French auteurs.
If the submitting country paid for the movie and supplied key personnel, it doesn’t matter what language it’s in. The French produced “Mustang” and its director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, born in Turkey, is based in Paris. (Her next movie is English-language.) And the Irish produced “Viva,” even though director Paddy Breathnach shot with local actors in Havana.
And thus the UK’s selection organization, BAFTA, has submitted writer-director Babak Anvari’s well-reviewed Sundance mother-daughter drama “Under the Shadow” (October 7, Vertical Entertainment and XYZ Films), a 1988 Iran-Iraq War thriller shot in Farsi starring Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi and Bobby Naderi. Producers are Wigwam Films’ Lucan Toh, Oliver Roskill and Emily Leo.
The Academy deadline for foreign-language submissions is October 3.