Oscar 2009: Candidatas al Oscar extranjero

Las candidaturas cierran el 1° de octubre: ¿a alguien le queda alguna duda qué película irá por la Argentina? Y voy por más: me atrevo a arresgarme que, si no queda entre las cinco, pega en el palo. Este fin de semana, "El secreto de sus ojos" volvió a quedar primera: ya se acerca al 1,4 millón de espectadores. ¿Hacemos otra apuesta? Hasta los 2 millones no para...

Asian countries have begun to reveal their entries for the Oscar foreign-language category, although China is staying tight-lipped on its entry.

Hong Kong's candidate is "Prince of Tears," a drama set in Taiwan, directed by Yonfan of Peony Pavilion and starring Wing Fan, Joseph Chang an Zhu Xuan. Pic is produced by Fruit Chan and bowed at the Venice festival. Pic has not been given a full release yet but it will be given a limited screening later this month to allow it to qualify for Oscars under academy rules.

Taiwan's entry will be "No puedo vivir sin ti," the second feature by helmer Leon Dai, a tale of a down-and-out man (Wu-Hsuing), abandoned by his child's mother years ago, who is left to bring up his daughter.

China's Film Bureau said it would make a decision next week on what film it will pick as its entry to the category.

Strongly tipped is "Confucius," starring Chow Yun-fat as the ancient philosopher, although Beijing-based producer Dadi Century Film said they have not received any confirmation.

Producers Polybona said that they were also waiting to hear if their movie "Empire of Silver" had gotten the nod. "Silver" is directed by Christina Yao, from a screenplay by Yao and Cheng Yi, who wrote the book "The Silver Valley" on which the film is based.

The other big movie in China at the moment is the propaganda pic "The Founding of a Great Republic," directed by China Film Group topper Han Sanping to mark communist China's 60th anniversary; howver, Han said the film will not be entering the Oscars.

"Flowers of the Sky," helmed by Prasanna Vithanag, is repping Sri Lanka. Pic has proven popular on the festival circuit.

Thailand's National Film Assn. said it would submit the love story "Best in Time" (Kwam Jam San Tae Rak Chan Yao), which is directed by Youngyooth Thongkongthun and stars Arak Amornsuppasiri and Yarinda Bunnak.

Backgammon as a metaphor for life's travails takes a central role in Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev's "The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner," one of five pics chosen to represent Eastern European countries vying for a nomination in Oscar's foreign language category.

Film won best Bulgarian feature last year at the Sofia Film Festival.

Serbia's choice, helmer Darko Lungulov's "Here and There," took awards at New York's Tribeca Festival for new narrative filmmaker and New York film for his tale of romance and desperation that transcend the very different worlds of Serbia and America.

Armenia's choice is "A Magician's Nephew," a documentary about screenwriter Tonino Guera, a friend of Federico Fellini, directed by Ruben and Vahe Gevorkyants. Doc won an award in the history and culture category at last year's 12th Russian Golden Drum television and film festival in Siberia.

Other nominations for Eastern Europe are yet to gain wider recognition, including Lithuania's "Waterhole," by Gytas Luksas, about the Soviet period in Lithuania as seen through the eyes of a boy in a small village; and Slovenia's "Landscape No. 2," by Vinko Moderndorfer, about two art thieves who steal a mysterious document that unleashes diabolical powers from the past.

The closing date for submissions to the foreign language category is Oct. 1. Nominations will be announced Feb. 2 and the Academy Awards take place on March 7.

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