David Ondricek directs the 1950s-set crime drama.

The Czech Film and Television Academy has put forward In The Shadow by David Ondricek. The film is a crime drama set against dramatic events in the 1950s. Marek Epstein wrote the original screenplay.

Producers are Ondricek, Krystof Mucha and Ehud Bleiberg. Bleiberg Entertainment represents global rights, and Falcon released locally.

Ondricek said: “We are truly happy to have our work nominated as a possible Oscar candidate and we will do our best to make it into the shortlist. It is very difficult to express in words the feelings I am experiencing. I honestly consider it a very pleasant surprise since our film had been so often presented as an Oscar candidate during the media campaign that I begun to fear it could actually harm our chances. Luckily, the Czech Film and Television Academy upheld our work in the end. We are extremely happy to have achieved it.”

Petr Vachler, CFTA Director, added: “Out of the almost fifty full-length feature films and documentaries presented to CFTA members for the nomination, the one with the biggest budget and praise from Czech film critics has won the nomination. I believe we have selected a good candidate for the Academy Award nomination. Recent previous nominations were won by films mapping our history: Želary in 2003 and Musíme si pomáhat [Divided We Fall] in 2000. The film that won the last Academy Award was Kolya in 1996, also looking back into the not too distant past. I am hoping that In the Shadow of the Horse could be met with a similar fate.”

Eligible films considered were released between Oct 1 2011 and Sept 30 2012 and the others receiving strong votes were Bohdan Slama’s Four Suns, Zuzana Liova’s House, Zdenek Jirasky’s Poupata and Robert Sedlacek’s Family Is The Foundation of State.

The Oscar nominees will be announced Jan 15.