Oscars organizers unveiled Wednesday a shortlist of nine foreign language movies vying for an Academy Award next month, including an Iranian film which won a Golden Globe at the weekend.
The list, which also includes films from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Morocco, Poland and Taiwan, will be reduced to five nominees by next week, when all nominations for the February 26 Oscars show are announced.
"A Separation" by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won the best foreign language film at the Golden Globe awards on Sunday, beating rivals from China, Spain and Belgium, as well as Angelina Jolie's directorial debut.
The Iranian win was welcomed by Iranians and by authorities in the Islamic republic.
Iran's government initially slapped a ban on the movie as it was being made because Farhadi voiced support for fellow filmmakers labeled by authorities as "anti-regime".
But, following an apology from Farhadi that permitted "A Separation" to be completed, Tehran has come to embrace the movie, strengthening support for it as it picked up award after award in international festivals.
For the Oscars, a committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screened 63 movies between mid-October and January 13, before deciding on the final five-strong shortlist.
Further committee meetings will be held in Los Angeles and New York over this coming weekend, before the nominations are announced next Tuesday, January 24.
The selected films are:
- Belgium: "Bullhead," directed by Michael R. Roskam.
- Canada: "Monsieur Lazhar," directed by Philippe Falardeau.
- Denmark: "Superclásico," directed by Ole Christian Madsen.
- Germany: "Pina," directed by Wim Wenders.
- Iran: "A Separation," directed by Asghar Farhadi.
- Israel: "Footnote," directed by Joseph Cedar.
- Morocco: "Omar Killed Me," directed by Roschdy Zem.
- Poland: "In Darkness," directed by Agnieszka Holland.
- Taiwan: "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale," directed by Wei Te-sheng.