The shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar was released last week. Of eighty-nine official submissions (the most in the history of the Academy), eighty-five were accepted, then whittled down to nine semi-finalists.
The award is significant, as it can bring considerable attention to a country’s national cinema. But the category also has its share of controversy. When Brazil submitted Little Secret, a sentimental drama, instead of the expected critical and commercial hit Aquarius, directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho, two other filmmakers, Gabriel Mascaro and Anna Muylaert, withdrew their films, Neon Bull and Don’t Call Me Son, respectively, in protest. More: Fandor