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Your Guide to the 81 Best Foreign Language Film 2016 Oscar Contenders

Written by on October 8, 2015 


While it’s futile to analyze the Oscar race in general — especially many months in advance — we do give special credence to a specific section of the Academy Awards: the Best Foreign Language Film submissions. Often one of the few categories during the ceremony that will actually highlight perhaps underseen works, we’re now giving you a chance to get ahead of the game with a full overview.

As close as cinema gets to a World Cup or Olympics, each country is able to submit their choice to compete for the award, with a few guidelines. Notably, each film must have been released in its respective country from October 1st of the previous year to September 30th of this year.

With that date recently passing, The Academy has confirmed 81 countries that have submitted a proper selection. Notable inclusions are László NemesSon of SaulHou Hsiao-hsien‘s The Assassin, Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Miguel Gomes Arabian Nights – Volume 2, The Desolate One, Pablo Larraín‘s The ClubChaitanya Tamhane‘s CourtGrímur Hákonarson‘s RamsDeniz Gamze Ergüven’s MustangTobias Lindholm‘s A War, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala‘s Goodnight Mommy, and Pablo Trapero‘s The Clan.

As these get pared down by The Academy, and then subsequent finalist lists, all the way to five nominees on January 14th, followed by the winner during the ceremonies on February 29th, check back for coverage. In the meantime, see trailers for all of the selections below, and reviews where available.

AfghanistanUtopiaHassan Nazer

AlbaniaBotaIris Elezi and Thomas Logoreci

AlgeriaTwilight of Shadows Mohamed Lakhdar Hamina

ArgentinaThe ClanPablo Trapero

AustraliaArrows of the Thunder DragonGreg Sneddon

Austria – Goodnight Mommy – Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz

BangladeshJalal’s StoryAbu Shahed Emon

BelgiumThe Brand New TestamentJaco Van Dormael

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Our Everyday Life – Ines Tanovic

Brazil – The Second Mother – Anna Muylaert

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