January 10th 2013 means a lot to a lot of people. Especially to 71 countries from around the world. Mean nothing to you? Well it won’t, really, unless you’re part of the group that’s been involved in creating your country’s best film or you’ve been involved in entering it into the highly-anticipated Academy Awards next year………….. Or unless you’re a film fiend, like myself! This year a record number of entries have been accepted. 71 entrants from countries around the world, which include a first-ever entry from Kenya, a Palme d’Or-winning entry from Austria and the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion award-winner from South Korea, all think they’ve got what it takes to win the coveted title of ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at The Oscars 2013.
Nairobi Half Life directed by David (Tosh) Gitonga:
Amour directed by Michael Haneke:
Pieta by Kim Ki-duk:
Last year the winner was an Iranian drama about a couple considering a divorce.
It’s titled A Separation.
See its trailer here:
It examines the moral and social conflicts that arise in a Tehran family after a couple apply for a divorce, and was recently criticised as a “dirty picture” by Iranian hardliners, despite its commercial success in the country.
This year, though, Iran has withheld its submission. The Iranian cultural minister said his country is boycotting the 2013 Oscars to protest against the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims made in the U.S. The controversial film sparked riots in the middle east a few weeks ago and has been banned in many countries, such as Russia, for being extremist. The filmmaker behind it has been arrested and sent to prison for violating the terms of his probation for a prior conviction.
Under the terms of his five-year probation, he was ordered not to own or use devices with access to the internet without approval from his probation officer
– The Los Angeles Times
The man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, created a 14-minute, anti-Muslim movie trailer which was blamed for riots in Benghazi in September in which the American ambassador to Libya and three others were killed. To date, no full-length version of the film has surfaced.
Here is the Innocence of Muslims trailer, with over 16 million views worldwide:
Other hot entrants this year for The Oscars 2013 include France’s The Intouchables directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano:
Morrocco’s Death for Sale directed by Faouzi Bensaïdi:
and Denmark’s A Royal Affair directed by Nikolaj Arcel:
And as for South Africa? Well it seems that Darrell Roodt’s latest work, Umfaan(or Little One), is our submission to the race.
The film tells the story of a child rape victim left for dead in a township near Johannesburg, and is eventually found and rescued by an older woman, who becomes very close to the little girl, and decides to launch her own investigation into the girl’s rape.
There’s nothing about it online, no trailer for it on YouTube and unfortunately, according to my research, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for it to be selected as a finalist. See Johannesburg’s Times Live article on it here: http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2012/10/09/little-hope-for-little-one. So now we wait to see who is chosen to be among the finalists – to be unveiled on January 10, 2013. The 85th Academy Awards telecast will follow on February 24, hosted at the Hollywood & Highland Center by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.