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Oscar Watch: South Korea’s ‘Pieta,’ Belgium’s ‘Our Children’ and Norway’s ‘Kon-Tiki’ Join Growing List of Foreign Oscar Contenders

Oscar Watch: South Korea's 'Pieta,' Belgium's 'Our Children' and Norway's 'Kon-Tiki' Join Growing List of Foreign Oscar Contenders

In advance of the October 1 Oscar deadline, the official foreign language submissions are coming fast and furious from around the world.

-Fresh from its Venice Golden Lion win and Toronto screenings, “Pieta,” directed by Kim Ki-duk, has been submitted by South Korea as its official foreign language submission.

-Belgium has selected Joachim Lafosse’s “Our Children” as its official submission. The film played at Cannes in May, and garnered a Best Actress Un Certain Regard award for Emilie Dequenne as a young mother caught between two men. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as “an arresting portrait of one woman’s gradual slide towards the unspeakable… [a] tightly wound study of domestic malaise.” (Trailer below.)

-“Kon-Tiki,” Norwegian box office hit and true story of explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl who crossed the Pacific Ocean on a wooden raft in 1947, is Norway’s official entry. Co-directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning, the film recently played at TIFF. It is the most expensive Norwegian production ever made at $16 million. (Trailer below.)

-Japan’s entry, selected on September 5, is Yang Yong-hi’s “Homeland,” a Berlin title following a South Korean man (Arata lura) who returns to Japan after 25 years in exile in North Korea. More here. (Trailer below.)

-Annemarie Jacir’s “When I Saw You,” which recently debuted at Toronto, is the Palestinian Oscar entry. The film sold at TIFF to Match Factory for worldwide rights, and follows an eccentric young boy who escapes from a Palestinian refugee camp in 1967 Jordan. (Trailer below.)

Here’s a working list so far (thanks to Movie On):

Australia: Lore, Cate Shortland
Austria: Amour (Love), Michael Haneke
Azerbaijan: Buta, Ilgar Najaf
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Djeca (Children of Sarajevo), Aida Begic
Bulgaria: Кецове Kecove (Sneakers), Ivan Vladimirov and Valeri Yordanov
Cambodia: ឃ្លាត​ទៅ​សែន​ឆ្ងាយ (Lost Loves), Chhay Bora
Germany: Barbara, Christian Petzold
Greece: Άδικος Κόσμος Adikos kosmos (Unfair World), Filippos Tsitos
Hungary: Csak a szél (Just the Wind), Benedek Fliegauf
Japan: かぞくのくに Kazoku no kuni (Our Homeland), Yong-hi Yang
Macedonia: Трето полувреме Treto poluvreme (The Third Half), Darko Mitrevski
Morocco: موت للبيع Mort à vendre (Death for Sale), Faouzi Bensaïdi
Netherlands: Kauwboy, Boudewijn Koole
Norway: Kon-Tiki by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
Palestine: لما شفتك Lamma Shoftak (When I Saw You), Annemarie Jacir
Poland: 80 milionów (80 Millions), Waldemar Krzystek
Romania: După dealuri (Beyond the Hills), Cristian Mungiu
Serbia: Кад сване дан Kad svane dan (When Day Breaks), Gorana Paskaljevića
South Korea: 피에타 Pieta, Kim Ki-Duk
Sweden: Hypnotisören (The Hypnotist), Lasse Hallström
Ukraine: ТойХтоПройшовКрізьВогонь (Firecrosser), Mykhailo Illienko
Venezuela: Piedra, Papel o Tijera (Rock, Paper, Scissors), Hernán Jabes

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