Best Foreign Film: Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil & Panama Submit Films

Oscar 2015 predictions
A number Latin American countries have recently named their official Oscar selections, making the race even more exciting and competitive.
Brazil's latest submission is one of the strongest this year thus far. 
The country chose the LGBT drama "The Way He Looks" by Daniel Ribiero. 
The feature premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Teddy Award and later went on to premiere all over the world including LA Outfest and Torino International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, where it won Best Feature.
The film will be released in the U.S by Strand Releasing and that could be a good for Brazil to get its fifth nomination.
Bolivia chose "Olvidado" by Carlos Bolado. The country is not very well known for cinema and has never been nominated. 
However, this film was directed by a Mexican and was filmed in Chile and New York, as well as Bolivia. That may give it a chance since it was an international film. 
However, it may suffer with the Academy since it lacks the festival run that most foreign films need to get nominated.
Panama made history by submitting its first film. 
The movie chosen to represent the country was "Invasion" by Abner Benaim. 
The documentary about the U.S invasion in 1989 debuted at the Panama International Film Festival, where it won the Mastercard Central America and Caribbean Audience Award and the Best Documentary Audience Award.
The Academy has a hard time nominating first time submissions, so this may be a dark horse in the race.
A number of other countries also announced official selections. 
Among the strongest were Canada and Belgium. 
Canada submitted Xavier Dolan's Jury Cannes winner "Mommy" while Belgium selected the Dardenne brothers' "Two Days, One Night." 
The film stars Marion Cotillard and it premiered to rave reviews at Cannes. Both those films also have distributors, which is a good sign.
Canada has been nominated seven times and won once while Belgium has been nominated six times.
Switzerland's selection was also strong as it chose the documentary "The Circle." 
The country, which has been nominated five times and won twice, chose "The Circle" because it won the Teddy Award in documentary at the Berlin Film Festival and was later chosen for distribution by Wolfe video.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's contender "Dukhtar" premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and later went to the London Film Festival and Busan Film Festival. The country has never been nominated, but the festival buzz and positive reviews could give it its first nomination.
Latvia submitted the first animated film of the year with "Rocks in my Pockets." After having screened at the Karlovy Vary and San Sebastian Film Festivals, the movie scored distribution through Zeitgeist Films and will be released in the fall. 
Having never been nominated, Latvia will face a challenge, especially since the Academy rarely chooses animated features in this category.
Other submissions include Hong Kong's Venice Film festival selection "The Golden Era," Denmark's Rome Film Festival selection "Sorrow and Joy" and Iran's Toronto Film Festival selection "Today."
The Czech Republic selected "Fair Play," while Afghanistan chose "A Few Cubic Meters of Love" and Lithuania selected "The Gambler," which premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Macedonia opted for "To the Hilt," Morocco chose "The Red Moon," Slovakia chose "A Step Into the Dark," which premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival, and Slovenia submitted "Seduce Me."
Finally, South Korea chose the popular "Sea Fog," which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, as well as the San Sebastian, Vancouver and Busan Film Festivals.
At the moment, 43 countries have submitted and it is expected that another 30 will submit. A number of countries have yet to announce their submissions, including Argentina, Italy, Spain and Uruguay.
The final day to submit films will be on Oct. 1 and the nominations will be announced January 2015.

Berny Polanía

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