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90th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2017 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

PART 1 - AFGHANISTAN TO ETHIOPIA
35 OFFICIAL SUBMISSIONS ANNOUNCED THUS FAR 
Updated Sept 11th

Chart info / text by Dzong and Nathaniel R

 


Finland to Norway 
Pakistan to Yemen
HQ - Predictions and Trivia 

 

 

Afghanistan
never nominated
(submitting since 1996)

TBA

Denmark-based female helmer Shahrbanoo Sadat won Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, making Wolf and Sheep, a drama about children in a shepherding village, the frontrunner if it can arrange a domestic release. Also possible: Lina, about a girl searching for her biological parents.

Trivia: Afghanistan has been disqualified two years in a row

Albania
never nominated
(subitting since 1996)

TBA

They will likely be sending Distant Angels, a new drama about the war in neighboring Kosovo, and the first film by Gjergj Xhuvani (Slogans) in eight years

Algeria
5 noms | 1 win (subitting since 1969)

TFA

They have two films on the film festival circuit: Let Them Come, about a man and his secular family trying to survive amidst a tide of Islamic fundamentalism, and I Still Hide to Smoke (starring Hiam Abbass), an ensemble film set in a women’s sauna. 

 

Argentina
7 noms | 2 wins (submitting since 1961)

TBA

They're widely expected to send Santiago Mitre’s La cordillera starring Ricardo Darin and Paulina Garcia. That’s possible, but a real dark horse is Zama, a 17th century historical drama based on a beloved national novel, scheduled to premiere in September. Both are from popular directors who have never been selected. Another option is Nobody's Watching by Julia Solomonoff

Armenia
never nominated
(submitting since 2001)

TBA

Mysteriously disqualified last year, Armenia doesn’t often send a film, but they could send  Good Morning, a drama about an idealistic journalist in the 1990s who loses his job because he refuses to work within a corrupt system. Other options: doc The Last Wish” or Bravo Virtuoso, a comedic thriller about a young musician who tries his luck at contract killing

 

Australia
1 nomination (submitting since 1996)

TBA

If there's not too much English in the film they could offer up One Less God, about a group of locals and international travelers caught in the middle of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Austria
4 noms | 2 wins (submitting since 1961)

HAPPY END
Michael Haneke

107 minutes
French

REVIEWED

Not selected:
the serial killer film Die Holle (from the Oscar winner behind The Counterfeiters), Best of All Worlds about a heroin addict mother.

Azerbaijan
never nominated (submitting since 2007)

POMEGRANATE ORCHARD
Ilgar Najaf
Facebook

90 minutes
Azerbaijani 

Based on Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” 

 

Bangladesh
never nominated (submitting since 2002)

TBA

The country's censors have banned the expected frontrunner (No Bed of Roses starring popular international actor Irffan Khan) so the race is wide open. Bangladesh often plumps for movies based on their war for independence, so Rina Brown (about a Christian-Muslim romance) and Bhuban Majhi lead a weak pack.

Belgium
7 noms | 0 wins (submitting since 1967)

RACER AND THE JAILBIRD
Michaël R Roskam

130 minutes
French

REVIEWED 

A reunion for the director and star of the Oscar nom'ed Bullhead. Matthias Schoenaerts is a gangster who falls for a driver (Adele Excharpoulos) in this crime drama

Not Selected:
The Arabic-language
Insyriated starring Hiam Abbass, The Dardenne Brothers' An Unknown Woman , and Fien Troch’s teen drama Home

 

 

Bolivia
never nominated
(submitting since 1995)

TBA

The only clear prospect at this point is Dark Skull, a dark thriller set in the country’s tin mines. It won Best Picture at the Cartagena Film Festival.

 

Bosnia & Herzegovina
1 nom | 1 win
(submitting since 1994)

MEN DON'T CRY
 
Alen Drljevic

98 minutes
Bosnian

Drama about a talk therapy group bringing together veterans from all three ethnic armies that fought during the Bosnian Civil War of the 1990s.

 

Brazil
4 noms | 0 wins (submitting since 1960)

TBA

Can Brazil cover from their Aquarius debacle last year (such a great film that they refused so send!) This year they might send The Great Mystical Circus a historical drama. Director Carlos Diegues has been selected to represent Brazil six times, and at 77 (and in semi-retirement), this is likely to be one of his last films. But Brazil is always difficult to predict and we'll know more when they release their traditional longlist. Other options Joaquim (historical drama), Mulher do Pai, or the cinematic A Movie Life

Bulgaria
never nominated (submitting since 1971)


TBA

A three-way race! Glory  (about a media frenzy over a suddenly rich man) and Godless (about a drug addict nurse) have both been dazzling festival audiences. But the more obscure black and white title  Memories of Fear swept their local Academy Awards in June. 

Cambodia
1 nomination (submitting since 1994)


TBA

Diamond Island, a drama about a country boy who falls in love in the big city, is the frontrunner but it opened in Cambodia at the very beginning of its eligibilty period (last year) so might feel 'old hat' by the time of submission. Rithy Panh, their only nominee (Missing Picture) also has a new French-language documentary called Exile but it’s abstract and cerebral.

 

Canada
7 noms | 1 win
(submitting since 1971)

TBA

Our neighbors to the north have several possibilities. Will it be the Mandarin language thriller Old Stone (a Best Pic nominee at the Genie Awards), Zacharius Kunuk's Arctic western Searchers, French language films Et au pire on se mariere, and A Bag or Marbles, or the political satire Boundaries  

Chad
never nominated
(submitting since 2002)

TBA

They've sent two films by Mahamat Saleh Haround in the past so IF they send a film (they don't regularly) it could be his .documentary Hissein Habre- A Chadian Tragedy about the country’s former dictator.

Chile
1 noms | 0 wins
(submitting since 1990)

TBA

They're widely expected to send Sebastian Lelio's A Fantastic Woman a critically-acclaimed drama about a transgender woman that won three awards at Berlinale. Lelio wasnt nominated for Gloria, but should have been!

China
2 nominations
(submitting since 1979)

TBA
Feng Xiaogang's I Am Not Madame Bovary is a strong possibility but China often makes strange choices, especially if films are politically sensitive. If there's not too much English is could be The Chinese Widow, a war film about a downed American pilot rescued by a Chinese family during WWII. It opened the Shanghai Film Festival, is directed by Oscar winner Bille August and stars Emile Hirsch. Other strong candidates: crime drama Wasted Times (w/Zhang Ziyi, poster above) and B&W arthouse Summer is Gone

Colombia
1 nomination
(submitting since 1980)

GUILTY MEN
Ivan Gaona

115 minutes
Spanish

Not Selected:
Victor Gaviria’s brutal The Animal’s Wife is about a novice nun who ends up as the captive of a villa thug.  Between Sea and Land” (Audience Award, Sundance) and The Dragon’s Defense

 

 

Costa Rica
never nominated
(submitting since 2005)

TBA

Expect a two-way race between The Sound of Things (a nurse traumatized by her cousin’s suicide) and Abrazame como antes which is about trans prostitutes. The former film won their national film festival.

Croatia
2 nominations *
(submitting since 1992 as Croatia)

QUIT STARING AT MY PLATE
Hana Jušić
Official Site

105 minutes
Croatian

The promiscuous teenage daughter of a poor family tries to keep things together after the father is disables and unable to provide.

Not setected: Other winners of their Pula Film Festival were The Constitution (about societal prejudices) and A Brief Excursion  (a slacker drama). 

Cuba
1 nomination
(submitting since 1978)

TBA

They don't submit every year but I think they’ll send The Last Days in Havana which won the Jury Prize at the Havana International Film Festival and a Special Screening slot in Berlin. It’s a docudrama about a number of characters living in the capital city. 

Czech Republic
9 noms* | 2 wins* (submitting since 1994 as Czech Republic)

TBA

On paper, the likeliest film is Little Crusaders  a medieval drama that became the first local Czech film in fifteen years to win the Grand Prize at Karlovy (Variety described watching it as “hard work”). I think, however, that the Czechs will send Barefoot, by Jan Sverak (of Kolya fame), a comedic drama about a little boy send to the countryside to escape the fighting of WWII. Two more options: Ice Mother about a grandma who gets a new hoppy, and A Prominent Patient, about a Czech diplomat living in pre-WWII London

Denmark
13 nominations | 3 wins (submitting since 1956)

TBA

They've announced a three film shortlist. The films are: Darkland, an atmospheric revenge thriller, You Disappear an embezzled drama at a school, and Word of God based on a best selling autobiographer about a domineering eccentric father

Not Selected:
Across the Waters a WWII drama, Never Again a Tomorrow, about a guardian angel, and Pound for Pound a boxing drama


 

Dominican Republic
never nominated (submitting since 1983)

WOODPECKERS
Jose Maria Cabral

106 minutes
Spanish

Called Carpinteros in Spanish, this  is about male prison inmates who invent a secret sign language to communicate with the women’s prison next door. 

Ecuador
never nominated (submitting since 2000)

TBA

We're guessing it'll be Killa one of the country's first film in the indigenous Quechua language, about a journalist facing off against a mining corporation

Egypt
never nominated (submitting since 1958)

SHEIKH JACKSON
Amr Salama

93 minutes
Arabic

This one, said to be quite a crowdpleaser, is about an Islamic cleric who loves Michael Jackson

Not Selected:
The controversial religious drama
The Preacher  which has been very well reviewed

Estonia
1 nomination
(submitting since 1992)

NOVEMBER
Rainer Sarnet

115 minutes
Estonian

REVIEWED

As expected they went with the surreal black and white fairy tale like film which took Best Cinematgoraphy at Tribeca Film Festival.

Not Selected:
Other Estonian film this year was the father son dramedy 
A Man Who Looks Like Me

Ethiopia
never nominated
(submitting since 2010)

TBA

They don't always submit but it could be  Fre, about a widower whose life is turned upside down when his young daughter is sexually assaulted

 

Foreign Film Index

or continue on to...

Finland to Norway 

Pakistan to Yemen