9 Foreign Language Films advance to the 89th Oscars: any from Africa 4 African features were submitted among 85
At the 60th anniversary of the Foreign Language Film Category in Oscar® Race, any African feature will compete.
On December 15, 2016, the Official Academy Press Release revealed the 9 Foreign Language Film which will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 89th Academy Awards®. Eighty-five films had originally been considered in the category. Foreign Language Film nominations for 2016 are determined in two phases. The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 12. Among those features, four acclaimed came from Africa: Clash, by Mohamed Diab, (Egypte, African Film Critics Award 2016), A mile in my shoes, by Said Khallaf (Morocco), Call Me Thief by Daryne Joshua (South Africa) and Le Puits | The Well directed by de Lotfi Bouchouchi the film that Algeria submitted to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
Set entirely on the Cape Flats (South Africa), Daryne Joshua's debute feature Call Me Thief (Noem My Skollie) is based on the life story of John Fredericks, a young man in 1960's Cape Town who defeated all odds and became a storyteller in jail. According to Stuart Muller (Screenanarchy.com), "the heart of this year's South African Oscar submission belongs to its writer, John Fredericks, on whose life growing up in the townships around Cape Town, and in the infamous Pollsmoor Prison, the story is based." It's a big hit in film theaters.
Directed by Mohamed Diab, Clash (Eshtebak) engages with the intersection of sexuality, religion, and extremism in Cairo, summer of 2013 - two years after the Egyptian revolution. In the wake of the ouster of Islamist president Morsi, a police truck full of detained demonstrators of divergent political and religious backgrounds roams through violent protests.
For his second feature, Mohamed Diab (Cairo 678, 2010) have been awarded the African Film Critics Prize 2016 (named this year "Néjiba Hamrouni", in dedication to the late Tunisian journalist and activist).
The Moroccan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards is a psychological thriller that tells the story of child who, born and bred in misery and suffering, decides to take revenge on the society that has marginalized him. Set against the backdrop of an unforgiving city filled with mayhem and poverty, this bleak yet touching social drama offers sensitive insight into the lives of children on the street. Said Khallaf won the Grand Prize at Tangier National Film Festival.
The group's top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy's Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist. The films are "Tanna," codirected by Bentley Dean & Martin Butler (Australia); "It's Only the End of the World," directed by Xavier Dolan (Canada); "Land of Mine," directed by Martin Zandvliet (Denmark), "Toni Erdmann," directed by Maren Ade (Germany), "The Salesman," directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran): "The King's Choice," directed by Erik Poppe (Norway); "Paradise," directed by Andrei Konchalovsky (Russia); "A Man Called Ove," directed by Hannes Holm (Sweden); "My Life as a Zucchini," directed by Claude Barras (Switzerland).
Dominated by Europe, the shortlist will be winnowed down to the category's five nominees by specially invited committees in New York, Los Angeles and London. They will spend Friday, January 13, through Sunday, January 15, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.
The competitive Foreign Language Film category was introduced in 1956 for the 29th Academy Awards. In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Academy has created a complete playlist of acceptance speeches and a poster gallery of all the Foreign Language Film Oscar® winners.
Nominations for the 89th Oscars® will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and on Canal+ TV channel in France and worldwide. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.