Bosnia and Herzegovina’s candidate for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards will be Danis Tanovic’s Cirkus Columbia. Kamen Kalev’s Eastern Plays will represent Bulgaria

A co-production between Bosnia’s 2006, France’s Asap Films, UK’s Autonomous, Slovenia’s Studio Maj, Germany’s Razor Film Produktion and Serbia’s Art & Popcorn, Cirkus Columbia (pictured) tells the story of a Herzegovinian man who returns to his home village after 20 years of working in Germany, on the eve of the civil war in former Yugoslavia. The film opened this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival and was recently screened at Toronto and Venice.

Danis Tanovic previously won the foreign language Oscar in 2002 for No Man’s Land.

One of the most lauded Bulgarian films in the past years, Kamen Kalev’s Eastern Plays follows a teenager who becomes a skinhead, his 38-year-old drug addict brother, and a Turkish family visiting Sofia. Their lives intertwine after a group of skinheads attacks the Turkish family.

Produced by Waterfront Film, Eastern Plays won awards at the Bratislava International Film Festival, the Las Palmas Film Festival and the Warsaw International Film Festival as well as best actor for Christo Christov, best director and grand prix at the Tokyo Film Festival and Best Bulgarian Feature Film at the Sofia International Film Festival.