2002 -- Spain -- "Talk to Her" wins original screenplay, nominated for director, while not chosen by the country for submission. Instead "Mondays in the Sun" is submitted, and fails to receive a nod.
Things like that happen all the time. This category, in my opinion, needs a bit on an overhaul. I think the eligibility should be expanded to also include films that meet the criteria for the rest of the categories, i.e. being released in L.A. county for a public run, etc... That would allow many more brilliant films to be considered for the top foreign prize....Talk to Her...City of God...The Diving Bell and the Butterfly...and many others.
Regardless, the Academy has released the shortlist of finalists for Best Foreign Language Film. It started with a 88 films originally submitted for the category, and now we're down to 9. For those who don't know, here's how they get there.
Between mid-October and December 14, the phase I committee, consisting of several hundred LA-based Academy members screen all the original submissions. They take the top 6 choices of that group, and then add 3 additional selections voted by the Academy's Foreign Language Film Executive Committee. Those 6 + 3 = The 9 finalists.
To later decide the final 5, invited committees in NY, LA and London will spend Jan. 8-10, viewing 3 films a day and then casting their ballots. The 9 finalists are...
- Belgium -- "THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT"
- Columbia -- "EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT"
- Denmark -- "A WAR"
- Finland -- "THE FENCER"
- France -- "MUSTANG"
- Germany -- "LABYRINTH OF LIES"
- Hungary -- "SON OF SAUL"
- Ireland -- "VIVA"
- Jordan -- "THEEB"