The Academy has announced the nine-film shortlist selected from 66 eligible titles, although France’s Of Gods And Men, China’s Aftershock and Germany’s When We Leave are notable omissions.

The shortlisted films in alphabetical country order are:

Algeria – Hors La Loi (Outside The Law), Rachid Bouchareb,

Canada – Incendies, Denis Villeneuve (pictured)

Denmark – In A Better World, Susanne Bier

Greece – Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos

Japan – Confessions. Tetsuya Nakashima

Mexico – Biutiful, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

South Africa – Life, Above All, Oliver Schmitz

Spain – Tambien La Lluvia (Even The Rain), Iciar Bollain

Sweden – Simple Simon, Andreas Ohman

The Phase I committee comprising several hundred Los Angeles-based members screened the 66 eligible films from mid-October to January 13 and decided on six choices. The Academy’s foreign language film award executive committee added three more to make up the shortlist.             

The next phase to determine the five nominees will involve specially invited committees convening in New York and Los Angeles to watch the shortlisted entries from January 21-23 before they cast their ballots.

The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on January 25 and the awards ceremony will take place on February 27.