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A record entry of 55 foreign films has been submitted for consideration at this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a fifth of them from Asia. APA previews the 11 Asian films nominated from their respective countries.
The number of international submissions for the 2004 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film beat out last year’s record of 54 with one additional entry. This year, the Oscars boast three newcomer submissions from Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Palestine, which was treated as an exception by the Academy committee as it did for Hong Kong and Taiwan a few years ago.
Each country around the world is allowed to select one film for nomination consideration under certain rules regarding the film’s commercial release in theaters, consistency in the released and nominated version and so forth. Voting is restricted to the Academy members who attend all 50+ screenings of each foreign film submitted. From the screening votes, the Academy selects the five final official nominations.
Japan leads Asia as the country garnering the most nominations (ten) for the category of Best Foreign Language and has also won three Honorary Awards before the Academy changed the title of the category to ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ starting in 1956. Japan has also won awards in other categories for Foreign Language Films in 1954 and 1985, both for Best Costume Design.
The most recent and phenomenal success for an Asian film at the Oscars is Ang Lee’s international hit, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which honored Taiwan four Academy Awards in 2000: Best Foreign Language, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Original Score. The Mandarin-subtitled movie is the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history, surpassing Roberto Benigni’s Oscar-winning Life is Beautiful. Crouching Tiger is the first subtitled release to win two-digit Oscar nominations, the third movie to have been nominated for both Best Foreign Language Film and Best Picture, and the first film from Asia to win as Best Foreign Language.
This year, eleven films from Asia have qualified for the Best Foreign Language category. The final five nominations for the category will be announced in Los Angeles on Jan. 27, 2004 and the winner will be announced live from the five finalists at the Oscars ceremony on Feb. 29, 2004.
Links to the previews and insider scoops of each film are listed below.
Nominees Announced January 27, 2004:
Foreign language film
The Barbarian Invasions (Canada)
A Cinémaginaire Inc. Production
A Moviola Film & Television Production
The Twilight Samurai (Japan)
A Shochiku/Nippon Television Network/Sumitomo/Hakuhodo/Nippon Shuppan Hanbai/Eisei Gekijo Production
Twin Sisters (The Netherlands)
An IdtV Film Production
Zelary (Czech Republic)
A Total HelpArt T.H.A./Barrandov Studio Production
Date Posted: 1/23/2004