AMPAS has announced the nine features on the shortlist for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award.  A record 83 films had been submitted.

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

  • Argentina, “Wild Tales,” [pictured] Damián Szifrón
  • Estonia, “Tangerines,” Zaza Urushadze
  • Georgia, “Corn Island,” George Ovashvili
  • Mauritania, “Timbuktu,” Abderrahmane Sissako
  • Netherlands, “Accused,” Paula van der Oest
  • Poland, “Ida,” Paweł Pawlikowski
  • Russia, “Leviathan,” Andrey Zvyagintsev
  • Sweden, “Force Majeure,” Ruben Östlund
  • Venezuela, “The Liberator,” Alberto Arvelo

Pawel Pawlikowski’s lauded Polish drama Ida is thought to be the frontrunner, as it continues to pick up critics’ prizes and led the European Film Awards last weekend. Wild Tales, Force Majeure and Leviathan are also leading candidates. The somewhat unexpected inclusions on the shortlist are Tangerines from Estonia (which was boosted by a Golden Globe nomination) and Corn Island from Georgia.

Notable omissions include Mommy (Canada); Two Days, One Night (Belgium); Winter’s Sleep (Turkey); Gett: The Trial of Vivane Amsalem (Israel); Saint Laurent (France) and The Golden Era (Hong Kong).

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred LA-based AMPAS members, screened the original submissions between mid-October and Dec 15. Their six choices go through to the shortlist, along with three additional selections voted on by the Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee.

Now the shortlist will be viewed by specially invited committees in New York, Los Angeles and — for the first time — London. They will watch the films from Jan 9-11 and then cast their ballots for the five nominees.

The nominees will be announced Jan 15 and voted on by the wider AMPAS membership.