The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nine semi-finalists -- for lack of a better term -- for the Best Foreign Language Film category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Argentina, “El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” Juan Jose Campanella, director
Australia, “Samson & Delilah,” Warwick Thornton, director
Bulgaria, “The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner,” Stephan Komandarev, director
France, “Un Prophète,” Jacques Audiard, director
Germany, “The White Ribbon,” Michael Haneke, director
Israel, “Ajami,” Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, directors
Kazakhstan, “Kelin,” Ermek Tursunov, director
The Netherlands, “Winter in Wartime,” Martin Koolhoven, director
Peru, “The Milk of Sorrow,” Claudia Llosa, director

In an extraordinarily long process, the Foreign Language Film nominations for 2009 are again being determined in two phases.

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the initial 65 eligible films between mid-October and January 16. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute this new shortlist.

These nine semi-finalists will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles. They will spend Friday, January 29, through Sunday, January 31, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced bright and early on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT.

 

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