Nine features advance to the next round of voting in the foreign language film category for the 86th Academy Awards from the original pool of 76 submissions - but Iran’s The Past, Saudi Arabia’s Wadjda and Israel’s Bethlehem are among the shock omissions.

The films listed in alphabetical order by country are:

Belgium, The Broken Circle Breakdown, dir Felix van Groeningen;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker, dir Danis Tanovic;

Cambodia, The Missing Picture, dir Rithy Panh;

Denmark, The Hunt, dir Thomas Vinterberg;

Germany, Two Lives, dir Georg Maas;

Hong Kong, The Grandmaster, dir Wong Kar-wai;

Hungary, The Notebook, dir Janos Szasz;

Italy, The Great Beauty, dir Paolo Sorrentino;

Palestine, Omar, dir Hany Abu-Assad.

The Phase I committee comprising several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 16. 

The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s foreign language film award executive committee, constitute the shortlist.

The shortlist will be narrowed down to the five nominees by invite-only committees in New York and Los Angeles who will spend January 10-12 2014 viewing three films each day prior to casting their ballots.

The awards will be announced on January 16 2014 ahead of the show on March 2 2014.