The historical biopic Heneral Luna is not included in the nine films shortlisted for possible nomination to the 88th Academy Awards (commonly known as Oscars) for Best Foreign Language Film. According to the entertainment news website The Wrap, only the following movies made the cut:
Belgium, “The Brand New Testament,” Jaco Van Dormael, director;
Colombia, “Embrace of the Serpent,” Ciro Guerra, director;
Denmark, “A War,” Tobias Lindholm, director;
Finland, “The Fencer,” Klaus Härö, director;
France, “Mustang,” Deniz Gamze Ergüven, director;
Germany, “Labyrinth of Lies,” Giulio Ricciarelli, director;
Hungary, “Son of Saul,” László Nemes, director;
Ireland, “Viva,” Paddy Breathnach, director;
Jordan, “Theeb,” Naji Abu Nowar, director.
Curiously, the movies Brand New Testament, The Fencer, Mustang, and Son of Saul were also declared as finalists for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
A total of 81 countries from around the world sent entries to be considered by the Academy Awards Foreign Language Film Award Committee (only one entry per country is allowed). The board then winnowed the field to just nine, from which they will choose five finalists and the ultimate winner.
The five finalists for this as well as other categories will be announced on January 14. The award’s night is set on February 28 at Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. It will be hosted by American actor and comedian Chris Rock.
The Best Foreign Language Film category became a mainstay in the annual event beginning in 1956 although the Academy Awards has been giving special citations to foreign language films since since 1947.
So far, only six Asian films have been able to bag the award – Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1951), Teinosuke Kinugasa’s Gate of Hell (1954), Hiroshi Inagaki’s Samurai, The Legend of Musashi (1955), Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Yojiro Takita’s Departures (2008), and Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation (2011). Kurosawa, Kinugasa, Inagaki, and Takita are all from Japan while Lee is Taiwanese-American and Farhadi is Iranian.
For its part, the Philippines has been sending entries to the said category since the 1950s (and annually since 1995) although none has advanced to the final round.