The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced the nine feature films shortlisted to advance in the race for the Best Foreign-Language Film category. The selection process consists of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members top six choices as well as three films granted a reprieve by the official Executive Committee. This practice was put into place several years ago after a bit of controversy erupted after the widely praised (and Cannes-winning) Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days failed to be shortlisted in the year it was eligible.
A widely eclectic mix comprises the shortlist this year led by presumed frontrunner Son of Saul. The Holocaust drama (representing Hungary) made a huge wave when it premiered at Cannes earlier this year and took the Grand Prix (second place). Of course anything can happen- especially considering once nominations are announced (last year, the Polish film Ida won the prize), the entire membership of the Academy is open to vote on a winner. Nominations for 88th Academy Awards will be announced on January 14, 2016 in which five of the following films will be nominated in the Best Foreign Film category. The ceremony takes place on February 28, 2016.
Check out the full list of contenders below:
- The Brand New Testamest (Belgium) – directed by Jaco Van Dormael
- Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia) – directed by Ciro Guerra
- A War (Denmark) – directed by Tobias Lindholm
- The Fencer (Finland) – directed by Klaus Härö
- Mustang (France) – directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven
- Labyrinth of Lies (Germany) – directed by Giulio Ricciarelli
- Son of Saul (Hungary) – directed by László Nemes
- Viva (Ireland) – directed by Paddy Breathnach
- Theeb (Jordan) – directed by Naji Abu Nowar