Pablo Larraín's 'Neruda,' Jonás Cuarón's 'Desierto' are two of the entrants


The Foreign Language Film category is sure to be interesting this year with 85 countries, including first-time entrant Yemen, submitting films for consideration.

Canada submitted its favorite bad-boy director Xavier Dolan (Mommy) and his new film It’s Only the End of the World, about a terminally ill writer who returns home after a long absence to tell his family he is dying. While Chile entered Pablo Larraín’s film Neruda, about Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Larraín could have a very busy awards season considering his other film, Jackie starring Natalie Portman, also is sure to be considered come Oscar time.

Mexico sent in Jonás Cuarón’s action-thriller Desierto (opening here on Friday) starring Gael García Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as its official submission, while Palestine entered Hany Abu-Assad’s retelling of Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf’s unlikely journey to the stage in The Idol.

Also up for consideration are two festival favorites: France’s R-rated thriller Elle from director Paul Verhoeven and Germany’s crowd-pleasing dramedy Toni Erdmann from director Maren Ade. Starring Isabelle Huppert, Elle has already generated quite a bit of Oscar talk for its leading lady, while Toni Erdmann has been a festival favorite since it debuted at Cannes back in May.

First-time entrant Yemen submitted I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced from filmmaker Khadija Al-Salami, while the United Kingdom entered the horror film Under the Shadow from writer-director Babak Anvari.

For a full list of entrants, visit

The foreign language category was first introduced in 1956 at the 29th Academy Awards. The upcoming ceremony will be held on Feb. 26, 2017.

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