It was an extraordinary morning for Ang Lee, the Taiwanese director overlooked by the Academy for Sense And Sensibility in 1995 and The Ice Storm in 1997. Not only did he win picture and director nominations for his box office sensation Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but he won his third Best Foreign Language Film nod after The Wedding Banquet in 1993 and Eat Drink Man Woman in 1994.

Indeed the nomination is also Taiwan's third, for Lee has singularly represented his country in this category.

Sony Pictures Classics has domestic rights to the film, but also last week bought domestic on the Czech Republic nominee Divided We Fall which had been winning strong buzz from Academy members and was a popular entry in the World Cinema section of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Jan Hrebejk, it is the fourth Czech Republic nominee ever after The Shop On Main Street in 1965, Closely Watched Trains in 1967 and Kolya in 1996. Menemsha Entertainment is handling sales on Divided We Fall.

Divided We Fall, set in the last days of World War II in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, stars Anna Siskova and Boleslav Polivka as a Czech couple hiding a Jewish neighbour in their house.

Meanwhile Amores Perros, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's epic Mexican tryptych, also snares a nomination, a coup for Lions Gate Films which has worldwide rights. The much-lauded film is Mexico's fifth nomination after Macario (1960), The Important Man (1961), Tlayucan (1962) and Letters From Marusia (1975).

Miramax Films last week partnered with Offline Releasing on the US release of Agnes Jaoui's The Taste Of Others, the French Oscar entry, and in the Berlin Film Festival bought domestic rights to Belgian entry Everybody Famous! directed by Dominic Deruderre. The positive response from Academy voters no doubt contributed to their interest and indeed both won nominations this morning.

The Jaoui film is France's 31st nomination - a record for any country, while it is the fifth nomination for Belgium after Paix Sur Les Champs (1970), The Music Teacher (1988), Daens (1992) and Farinelli: Il Castrato (1994).

The Taste Of Others (Le Gout Des Autres) stars Jean-Pierre Bacri as a French industrialist who becomes obssessed with his English tutor, an actress played by Jaoui herself.

Everybody Famous! is a sentimental comedy about a father who kidnaps a pop star and holds her to ransom in order to give his daughter a chance to sing on TV. Deruderre's credits include Wait Until Spring, Bandini, Suite 16 and Crazy Love.

Critically acclaimed films which failed to make the final cut included In The Mood For Love from Hong Kong, A Time For Drunken Horses from Iran, Me You Them from Brazil, Maelstrom from Canada, The 100 Steps from Italy, Time Of Favour from Israel and Chunhyang from South Korea.