Italy's unofficial shortlist for its foreign Oscar candidate features Nanni Moretti's The Son's Room, Gabriele Muccino's The Last Kiss and Ferzan Ozpetek's Ignorant Fairies.
All three movies swept the David di Donatello local awards in April, and are among the highest-grossing Italian films of the year.
Widely tipped as the favourite, Moretti has garnered unanimous critical support for The Son's Room, winning the Cannes Palme d'Or for his drama about a middle-class couple whose teenage son dies in a diving accident.
The Last Kiss, which is written and directed by young Italian filmmaker Gabriele Muccino is an ensemble light drama about a group of thirty-somethings, and screened at the Toronto Film Festival in September. It has grossed over $10m in Italy.
Turkish-Italian director Ferzan Ozpetek's Ignorant Fairies, which, like The Last Kiss, stars actor-of-the-moment Stefano Accorsi, tells the story of a woman (Margherita Buy) who discovers that her late husband had a gay lover. The film screened in competition at the Berlin Film Festival.
Meanwhile, Italian auteur Ermanno Olmi, whose 16th century battle epic The Profession Of Arms screened in competition at Cannes, released a press statement, saying that he did not wish his film to be considered for Italy's shortlist, preferring instead to support Moretti's nomination.
Italy's official Oscar candidate will be announced on November 13.