Foreign Language Film Oscar: 'House of Flying Daggers' Among Entries

Foreign Language Film Ziyi ZhangForeign Language Film Oscar 2005 entries include 'House of Flying Daggers,' 'The Sea Inside' (image: Ziyi Zhang in 'House of Flying Daggers')

Of the 49 films submitted for the 2005 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, twenty-seven are from Europe, twelve from Asia, eight from the Americas, and a mere two from Africa. For the record: the two African entries are Oussama Fawzy's I Love Cinema (Egypt) and Darrell Roodt's AIDS drama Yesterday (South Africa).

Of note, this year marks the first time that Malaysia has sent in a movie for the Academy Awards: Saw Teong Hin's A Legendary Love / The Princess of Mount Ledang / Puteri Gunung Ledang. The 15th-century-set story of the forbidden romance between a Javanese Hindu princess (Tiara Jacquelina) and a Malay Muslim warrior (M. Nasir), A Legendary Love is the most expensive Malaysian film ever made. (See also: “Malaysian Culture 'Snubbed' at Venice Film Festival.”)

Also of note, Bahman Ghobadi's Iranian-backed, Iraq War-related drama Turtles Can Fly won the Best Picture Golden Shell at the 2004 San Sebastian Film Festival. Gianni Amelio's Italian entry The Keys to the House, starring Kim Rossi Stuart and Charlotte Rampling, was a Venice Film Festival favorite; its failure to win any important awards at the festival led to an uproar in the Italian press. Spanish entry The Sea Inside, directed by Alejandro Amenábar and starring Javier Bardem, took home both the Grand Jury Prize and the Best Actor Award at Venice.

Best Foreign Language Film Oscar 2005 orphans

Since arcane Academy rules only allow one film per country, Pedro Almodóvar's much praised Spanish comedy-drama Bad Education is not among the submitted films.

Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries / Diarios de motocicleta is another Oscar orphan, as it doesn't really belong to any one country. The movie was shot in Spanish, its director is a Portuguese-speaking Brazilian, its story is set in various South American countries, and most of its financing came from the (mostly English-speaking) United States. According to Academy regulations, U.S. movies are ineligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

The 2005 Academy Award nominations, including, of course, the shortlist of Best Foreign Language Film nominees, will be announced on Tuesday, January 25, 2005, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

2005 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entries

Earth and Ashes
Afghanistan, Earth and Ashes, Atiq Rahimi, director;

Lost Embrace Daniel Hendler

Argentina, Lost Embrace, Daniel Burman, director;

Antares
Austria, Antares, Gotz Spielmann, director;

Jan Decleir The Alzheimer Case
Belgium, The Alzheimer Case, Erik Van Looy, director;

Days and Hours
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Days and Hours, Pjer Žalica, director;

Olga Jayme Monjardim
Brazil, Olga, Jayme Monjardim, director;

Mila from Mars
Bulgaria, Mila from Mars, Zornitsa Sophia, director;

Far Side of the Moon
Canada, Far Side of the Moon, Robert Lepage, director;

Machuca
Chile, Machuca, Andrés Wood, director;

House of Flying Daggers Ziyi Zhang
China, House of Flying Daggers, Zhang Yimou, director;

Long Dark Night
Croatia, Long Dark Night, Antun Vrdoljak, director;

Up and Down
Czech Republic, Up and Down, Jan Hrebejk, director;

The Five Obstructions Lars von Trier
Denmark, The Five Obstructions, Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier, directors;

John Leguizamo Chronicles
Ecuador, Chronicles, Sebastián Cordero, director;

I Love Cinema
Egypt, I Love Cinema, Oussama Fawzy, director;

Revolution of Pigs
Estonia, Revolution of Pigs, Jaak Kilmi and René Reinumägik, directors;

Producing Adults
Finland, Producing Adults, Aleksi Salmenperä, director;

Les Choristes The Chorus
France, The Chorus, Christophe Barratier, director;

Downfall movie poster
Germany, Downfall, Oliver Hirschbiegel, director;

A Touch of Spice
Greece, A Touch of Spice, Tassos Boulmetis, director;

Kontroll Nimrod
Hungary, Kontroll, Nimród Antal, director;

Cold Light
Iceland, Cold Light, Hilmar Oddsson, director;

Shwaas
India, Shwaas, Sandeep Sawant, director;

Turtles Can Fly movie
Iran, Turtles Can Fly, Bahman Ghobadi, director;

Campfire
Israel, Campfire, Joseph Cedar, director;

Kim Rossi Stuart The Keys to the House
Italy, The Keys to the House, Gianni Amelio, director;

Nobody Knows
Japan, Nobody Knows, Hirokazu Kore-eda, director;

The Great Water
Macedonia, The Great Water, Ivo Trajikov, director;

A Legendary Love
Malaysia, A Legendary Love, Saw Teong Hin, director;

Innocent Voices
Mexico, Innocent Voices, Luis Mandoki, director;

Simon Eddy Terstall
The Netherlands, Simon, Eddy Terstall, director;

Hawaii Oslo
Norway, Hawaii, Oslo, Erik Poppe, director;

The Olive Harvest
Palestine, The Olive Harvest, Hanna Elias, director;

Crying Ladies
The Philippines, Crying Ladies, Mark Meily, director;

 The Welts
Poland, The Welts, Magdalena Piekorz, director;

The Miracle According to Salome
Portugal, The Miracle According to Salomé, Mário Barroso, director;

Orient-Express
Romania, Orient-Express, Sergiu Nicolaescu, director;

Night Watch Timur Bekmambetov
Russia, Night Watch, Timur Bekmambetov, director;

Goose Feather
Serbia and Montenegro, Goose Feather, Ljubiša Samardžic, director;

Beneath Her Window
Slovenia, Beneath Her Window, Metod Pevec, director;

Yesterday South African movie
South Africa, Yesterday, Darrell Roodt, director;

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War
South Korea, Tae Guk Gi, Kang Je-gyu, director;

Javier Bardem The Sea Inside
Spain, The Sea Inside, Alejandro Amenábar, director;

As It Is in Heaven
Sweden, As It Is in Heaven, Kay Pollak, director;

My Name Is Bach
Switzerland, Mein Name Ist Bach / My Name Is Bach, Dominique de Rivaz, director;

20 : 30 : 40 Sylvia Chang
Taiwan, 20 30 40, Sylvia Chang, director;

The Overture
Thailand, The Overture, Itthisoontorn Vichailak, director;

Whisky Juan Pablo Rebella
Uruguay, Whisky, Juan Pablo Rebella, Pablo Stoll, directors;

Punto y Raya
Venezuela, Punto y Raya, Elia Schneider, director.

Ziyi Zhang House of Flying Daggers photo: Sony Pictures Classics.

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