Bashir Makes Oscar Cut

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 81st Academy Awards. Among them is Ari Folman’s animated documentary Waltz with Bashir, which won the Golden Globe in the same category on Sunday.

From 65 original entries, the Academy has narrowed the field of competitors to:

Revanche, directed by Gotz Spielmann – Austria,

The Necessities of Life, directed by Benoit Pilon – Canada

The Class, directed by Laurent Cantet – France

The Baader Meinhof Complex, directed by Uli Edel – Germany;

Waltz with Bashir, directed by Ari Folman – Israel

Departures, directed by Yojiro Takita ‘ Japan

Tear This Heart Out, directed by Roberto Sneider – Mexico

Everlasting Moments, directed by Jan Troell – Sweden

3 Monkeys, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan – Turkey

Foreign Language Film nominations for 2008 are being determined in two phases. The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 65 eligible films between mid-October and Jan. 10. That group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist. This list will be winnowed down to the five actual nominees by specially selected committees in New York and Los Angeles.

Nominations for the 81st Academy Awards will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 5:30 a.m. (PT) in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 22 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will televised live by the ABC Television Network.