Magazine article Screen International

Oscar Foreign-Language Film Race 2018: Hungary, Japan, Norway Make Picks

Magazine article Screen International

Oscar Foreign-Language Film Race 2018: Hungary, Japan, Norway Make Picks

Article excerpt

Screen’s regularly updated list of foreign language Oscar submissions.

The Oscar nominations aren’t announced until January 23, but the race has already begun in the best foreign-language film category.

Every country is invited to submit what it considers its best film of the year to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), with one film accepted from each country.

Last year there were 85 films in the longlist of entries for consideration in the category - a record-breaking number - before the contenders were whittled down to a nine-strong longlist and, eventually, the five nominees put forward to the final Oscar vote: Denmark’s Land Of Mine, Sweden’s A Man Called Ove, Australia’s Tanna, Germany’s Toni Erdmann and eventual winner, The Salesman from Iran. (For insight into how the shortlisting process works, read Screen’s 2015 interview with producer Mark Johnson, chairman of AMPAS’s foreign-language film award committee.)

This year’s national submissions have already started to be announced, with Screen keeping track of the submissions as they are announced below:

Hungary: On Body and Soul (Ildikó Enyedi)

Director Ildikó Enyedi’s Golden Bear winner follows two people working at an abbatoir, who both dream themselves as deers in love at night but find that finding that love in real life is more difficult. On Body and Soul’s world sales are handled by Films Boutique.

Japan: Her Love Boils Bathwater (Ryota Nakano)

This film follows a terminally ill woman who tries to put her affairs in order as she searches for her husband and tries to put her daughter on the right path. Ryoya Nakano’s film won three Japan Academy prizes earlier this year, including best actress for Rie Miyazawa. Hakuhodo DY Music & Pictures Inc. are handling worldwide sales.

Norway: Thelma (Joachim Trier)

Joachim Trier’s fourth feature opened the Norwegian Film Festival last month and is due to play Toronto and New York in September. The supernatural thriller follows the titular Oslo student and her attraction to another woman, which draws overwhelming emotions and inexplicable powers into the open. Memento Films International is handling international sales.

Finland: Tom Of Finland (Dome Karukoski)

Dome Karukoski’s drama chronicles the life and times of the titular Finnish, gay artist. Aleksi Bardy wrote the screenplay for the film, which tells the life story of Touko Laaksonen, a man who would become known around the world by his nom de guerre “Tom Of Finland”. The film opened this year’s Goteborg Film Festival. Protagonist Pictures handle sales. Kino Lorber picked up US rights and Peccadillo Pictures took UK rights, where it was released in August 2017.

South Korea: A Taxi Driver (Hun Jang)

Hun Jang’s story of a taxi driver who takes a German reporter from Seoul to Gwangju to cover the 1980 uprising has been a smash hit in Korea, passing 10 million admissions and taking more than $70m at the local box office, making it the country’s highest grossing film of the year. …

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