As Friday's (Oct 1) deadline for Oscar foreignlanguage film submissions draws close, the Academy has received a raft of bids- including Thailand's The Overture,Korea's Tae Guk Ki and Austria's Antares and Serbia-Montenegro's Goose Feather - for contention.
Repped by Fortissimo Films, The Overture premiered at Toronto and has already found aJapanese distributor in Toho Towa. It marks the return of directorItthi-sunthorn Wichailak (Look Bar)to the screen after a 10-year absence and tells the story of a humble'ranad' (wooden xylophone) player's rise to musician at thecourt of King Rama 6 in 1900's Siam.
Also confirmed is Korea's submission: Tae Guk Ki, directed by Kang Je-gyu, about two brothers whotake part in the Korean War. Released locally in February, it became thetop-grossing Korean film of all time, taking over $65m from a record-breakingbudget of $13m. Released as Tae Guk Ki: The Brotherhood of War in the US by IDP Distribution on September 3, it isabout to pass the $1m mark there. International sales are being handled by KangJe-gyu and Myung Films.
Austrian entry Antaresis directed by Goetz Spielmann and played in competition at the Locarno FilmFestival. The US theatrical distribution and DVD subscription service FilmMovement picked up North American rights to the film at the Toronto FilmFestival earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Goose Feather is directed by Ljubisa Samardzic and is a love story set during and after the First World War. Samardzic's Sky Hook was the Yugoslav Oscar contender in 2001.
The news followed China's confirmation of ZhangYimou's House Of The Flying Daggersas its selection. Produced by Edko Films and Zhang Yimou Studio with BeijingNew Picture Film Co. and China Film Co-production Corp, it was picked up bySony Pictures Classics for North American release and is being handled by FocusFeatures.
Also confirming its selection was Brazil, which chose Olga, directed by Jayme Monjardim, as its bid for Oscarglory. Olga is based on FerandoMorais's book about the life of Olga Bemario, a key figure inBrazil's communist revolution, and features Fernanda Montenegro,previously Oscar-nominated for her role in Central Station. The movie was produced by Nexus and Globo Filmesand is distributed by Lumiere.
Major territories yet toannounce their selection include Italy, Israel, Russia, Japan and Spain, whichhas announced a shortlist of three titles.
A total of 89 countries have been invited to submit theirselection for the 77th Academy Awards. The final shortlist will be announced on January 25, with theOscars held on February 27, 2005 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.