With Iran's "The Past" and other high-profile contenders not among the final nine, several specialty film distributors are up in arms -- but the Academy's foreign-language committee chairman stands behind his group's selections.
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The Hollywood Reporter | 20 Dec. 2013
On Friday afternoon, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its best foreign-language film Oscar shortlist of nine films from which the five best foreign-language Oscar nominees will soon be chosen. And while some indisputably terrific films made the cut, there were also a number of glaring omissions -- among them Asghar Farhadi's The Past (Iran), Yuval Adler's Bethlehem (Israel), Sebastián Lelio's Gloria (Chile) and Haifaa Al-Mansour's Wadjda (Saudi Arabia) -- as has been the case far too often in recent years.
As someone who has screened the vast majority of the nine finalists -- Felix van Groeningen's The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium), Danis Tanović's An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Rithy Panh's The Missing Picture (Cambodia), Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt (Denmark), Georg Maas' Two Lives (Germany), Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster (Hong Kong), Janos Szasz's The Notebook (Hungary), Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty (Italy) and Hany Abu-Assad's Omar (Palestine) -- and a considerable number of the other submissions, I feel qualified and compelled to chime in on this.