Japan has selected Hideyuki Hirayama's Out as its nominee for the foreign language film category at next year's Academy Awards.

A female orientated black comedy, Out was selected from a shortlist of ten films by the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan.

Based on a recently published novel by best-selling mystery writer Natsumi Kirino, Out is the tale of a pregnant housewife who accidentally strangles her abusive husband, and the three friends who agree to dispose of the body for a fee.

Out was produced by Sundance Company and backed by Movie Television. Distributed in Japan by 20th Century Fox, the film opened on October 19 across 230 screens - a wide release for a non-animated Japanese film. It has since taken $755,000 at the box office.

Over 40 countries have now submitted their entries to the foreign language film category. The Academy's foreign language award category will screen all the submissions before putting forward the final shortlist of five Oscar nominees.

The 75th Academy Awards takes place on March 23.