Of the 80 films that were submitted for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, a final shortlist of nine has been revealed. Tobias Lindholm’s A War (Denmark) and Klaus Härö’s The Fencer (Finland) are among those through to the final round of voting. The final five nominees will be announced January 14th 2016.
A War (Krigen) has been praised by critics, naming it a “bruising two hours of you-are-there cinema” (Indiewire) and a “rigorous, engrossing anatomy of a suspected war crime” (Variety), among other accolades. The film highlights the consequences of war on all its participants – from soldiers and civilians to family and loved ones. We follow company commander Claus Michael Pedersen and his men who are stationed in an Afghan province. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him – and his family back home.
The Fencer (Miekkailija) recently made history by being nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Foreign Language Film making it the first Finnish film in 58 years to do so. It tells the true story of the young Estonian fencer Endel who Flees from the Russian secret police because of his controversial past, and is forced to return to his homeland where he begins to train a group of young children in the art of fencing. The past however catches up with him and Endel has to choose between letting his students down or putting his own life in danger.
The shortlisted films for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards are as follows:
Belgium, The Brand New Testament, by Jaco Van Dormael;
Colombia, Embrace of the Serpent, by Ciro Guerra;
Denmark, A War, by Tobias Lindholm;
Finland, The Fencer, by Klaus Härö;
France, Mustang, by Deniz Gamze Ergüven;
Germany, Labyrinth of Lies, by Giulio Ricciarelli;
Hungary, Son of Saul, by László Nemes;
Ireland, Viva, by Paddy Breathnach;
Jordan, Theeb, by Naji Abu Nowar.
The awards ceremony will honour the best films of 2015 on February 28th 2016 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST.