Forty-two of the 71 foreign language Oscar submissions will compete for FIPRESCI awards and Palm Springs International Film Festival director Darryl Macdonald and artistic director Helen du Toit announced the inaugural Nordic Light strand.

Among the Awards Buzz line-up are Michael Janeke’s Amour, Baltasar Kormákur’s The Deep, Kim Nguyen’s War Witch, Selton Mello’s The Clown, Christian Petzold’s Barbara and Eric Toledano’s Intouchables.

The FIPRESCI jury will present awards for best foreign language film of the year, best actor and best actress.

The Nordic Light programme features 20 works from Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. 

Among the entries are Kormákur’s The Deep, Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, Tobias Lindholm’s A Hijacking, Nikolaj Arcel’s A Royal Affair, Gabriela Pichler’s Eat Sleep Die, Lasse Hallström’s The Hypnotist, Espen Sandberg’s Kon Tiki and Dheeraj Akolkar’s Liv & Ingmar.

The Modern Masters category features such film as Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share, Sally Potter’s Ginger And Rosa, Mike Newell’s Great Expectations and Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children.

“This year’s lineup features celebrated veteran auteurs sharing the stage with films by a large number of audacious new talents – indeed, almost a third of this year’s PSIFF filmmakers are marking their feature film debut,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald. 

“Nowhere is this trend more apparent than in our Nordic Light section, with well-established filmmakers Lasse Hallström, Thomas Vinterberg and Baltasar Kormákur presenting striking new work alongside promising debut directors like Mikael Marcimain (Call Girl), Gabriela Pichler (Eat Sleep Die) and Dag Johan Haugerud (I Belong). This special section vividly reflects the ongoing emergence of a newly revitalised Scandinavian cultural aesthetic.”

“PSIFF has a long-standing tradition of presenting the largest selection of Foreign Language Oscar submissions of any film festival in the world,” said artistic director Helen du Toit. 

“This has been the strongest year that I have ever seen for submissions and we look forward to presenting the 42 films selected for the festival in January. There are so many outstanding films eligible for consideration that Academy voters will be spoiled for choice in selecting the final five nominees.”

The PSIFF is scheduled to run from Jan 3-14.