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

Bulgaria – The Judgement – Stephan Komandarev

CambodiaThe Last Reel Sotho Kulikar

CanadaFélix and MeiraMaxime Giroux

Chile – The Club – Pablo Larraín

China – Go Away Mr. Tumor – Han Yan

ColombiaEmbrace of the Serpent Ciro Guerra

Costa RicaImprisoned Esteban Ramírez

Croatia – The High Sun – Dalibor Manatić

Czech RepublicHome CareSlavek Horak

DenmarkA WarTobias Lindholm

Dominican Republic – Sand Dollars – Laura Amelia Guzman, Israel Cárdenas

Estonia1944 Elmo Nüganen

EthiopiaLamb Yared Zeleke

Finland – The Fencer – Klaus Härö

France Mustang Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Georgia – Moira – Levan Tutberidze

Germany – Labyrinth of Lies – Giulio Ricciarelli

Greece – Xenia – Panos H. Koutras

Guatemala – Ixcanul – Jayro Bustamante

Hong KongTo the ForeDante Lam

Hungary – Son of Saul – László Nemes

Iceland – Rams – Grímur Hákonarson

IndiaCourtChaitanya Tamhane

IranMuhammad: The Messenger of God Majid Majidi

Iraq – Memories on Stone – Shawkat Amin Korki

Ireland – VivaPaddy Breathnach


IsraelBaba JoonYuval Delshad

ItalyDon’t Be BadClaudio Caligari

Ivory CoastRunPhilippe Lacôte

Japan – 100 Yen Love – Masaharu Take

Jordan – Theeb – Naji Abu Nowar

Kazakhstan – Stranger – Ermek Tursunov

Kosovo – Babai – Visar Morina

KyrgyzstanHeavenly NomadicMirlan Abdykalykov

LatviaModris Juris Kursietis

LebanonVoid Naji Bechara, Jad Beyrouthy, Zeina Makki, Tarek Korkomaz, Christelle Ighniades, Maria Abdel Karim and Salim Haber

LithuaniaThe Summer of Sangaile Alanté Kavaïté

Luxembourg – Baby(a)lone – Donato Rotunno

MacedoniaHoney NightIvo Trajkov

MalaysiaMen Who Save the WorldLiew Seng Tat

Mexico600 MilesGabriel Ripstein

Montenegro You Carry Me Ivona Juka

MoroccoAidaDriss Mrini

NepalTalakjung vs TulkeBasnet Nischal

Netherlands – The Paradise Suite – Joost van Ginkel

Norway – The Wave – Roar Uthaug

Pakistan – Moor – Jami

Palestine – The Wanted 18 – Paul Cowan, Amer Shomali

Paraguay – Cloudy Times – Arami Ullon

Peru – NN – Héctor Gálvez

PhilippinesHeneral LunaJerrold Tarog

Poland11 MinutesJerzy Skolimowski

Portugal – Arabian Nights: Volume 2 – The Desolate One – Miguel Gomes

Romania – Aferim! – Radu Jude

RussiaSunstroke – Nikita Mikhalkov

Serbia – Enclave – Goran Radovanović  

Singapore 7 Letters Royston Tan, Kelvin Tong, Eric Khoo, Jack Neo, Tan Pin Pin, Boo Junfeng and K. Rajagopal

Slovakia – Goat Ivan Ostrochovský

Slovenia – The Tree – Sonja Prosenc

South AfricaThe Two of UsErnest Nkosi

South Korea – The Throne – Lee Joon-ik

SpainFlowers Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga

Sweden – A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence – Roy Andersson

Switzerland – Iraqi Odyssey – Samir

Taiwan – The Assassin – Hou Hsiao–Hsien

ThailandHow to Win at Checkers (Every Time) Josh Kim

Turkey Sivas Kaan Müjdeci

United Kingdom Under Milk Wood Kevin Allen

UruguayA Moonless NightGermán Tejeira

Venezuela – Gone with the River – Mario Crespo

Vietnam – Jackpot – Dustin Nguyen

Which country are you rooting for? What’s your favorite film of the selections?

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