With just days to go before the deadline for submissions to the foreign language Oscar category, four countries have named their heavyweight contenders.

Argentina has selected Alejandro Agresti's bittersweet comedy Valentin, while Brazil has submitted Hector Babenco's prison drama blockbuster Carandiru.

Korean has chosen Kim Ki-duk's Locarno favourite Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring. Denmark has named Christoffer Boe's Cannes prize winning Reconstruction as its candidate.

All four films already have US distribution in place, which should play to their advantage in terms of exposure in front of many Academy voters. Miramax has rights to Valentin, Sony Pictures Classics has both Carandiru and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring, while Palm Pictures has Reconstruction.

The closing date for the foreign language Oscar category is Oct 1.

Valentin, the semi autobiographical tale of director Agresti's childhood, opened in Argentina last month and continues among the top 10 in the country's box office. Road movie Cleopatra, a close contender which lost by four votes to represent Argentina, ranks fifth while Valentin fills the seventh slot in this week's box office.

Carandiru ranks as Brazil's biggest local blockbuster in recent times. SPC is expected to weigh in with its marketing savvy to grab the attention of Oscar voters. SPC plans a simultaneous platform release in the US and Canada early next year.

Kim Ki-duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring beat off Bong Joon-ho's acclaimed Memories Of Murder, which was originally considered Korea's frontrunner. However, the strong critical response given to Spring at its Locarno premiere and the film's recent acquisition by Sony Pictures Classics is seen to have tipped the scales in its favor.

Nonetheless, Spring received a muted response from Korean audiences on its release last weekend, landing at seventh place at the box-office with less than 10,000 admissions in Seoul.

Reconstruction has picked up a number of international awards including the Camera D'Or and Label Regards Jeunes in Cannes, the best Nordic Debut Film in Haugesund and most recently FIPRESCI's Grand Prix for Best Director of the Year.

It follows a young man who, after a passionate one night stand, returns home to find that all his friends and family claim never to have seen him before.

Foreign language Oscar contenders to date:
Argentina: Valentin
Belgium: Sea Of Silence
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Fuse
Brazil: Carandiru
Canada: The Barbarian Invasions
China: Warriors Of Heaven And Earth
Denmark: Reconstruction
Egypt: Saha El Layaly
France: Bon Voyage
Germany: Good Bye, Lenin!
Hong Kong: Infernal Affairs
Hungary: Forest
Korea: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring.
Netherlands: Twin Sisters
Thailand: Last Life In The Universe