Switzerland and Austria have announced their entries for the best foreign language film category at the Academy Awards, selecting fiction feature debuts by directing duos.

An expert jury appointed by Switzerland’s Federal Office For Culture (BAK) chose Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond’s La Petite Chambre after screenings during the Swiss Film Week Delemont-Hollywood.

The Swiss-Luxembourg co-production between Vega Film and Iris Productions received its world premiere in Locarno’s international competition last month.

The selection includes financial support of CHF 60,000 provided by the BAK and the town of Delemont towards the Oscar campaign for the film in Los Angeles.

Michel Bouquet and Florence Loiret Caille star in the story of an independent elderly man who initially refuses help from a new home nurse.

Austria has selected Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s The Little One (La Pivellina), which premiered in Cannes in Directors’ Fortnight and won the Grand Diagonale Prize for Best Austrian Feature Film in Graz last March.

The story centres on of a a circus artist who finds and looks after an abandoned two-year-old girl. Films Distribution is handling international sales on the production by Covi and Frimmel’s Vento Film and has sold more than 15 territories.

The ten-person jury of representatives from the Austrian film industry selected The Little One from what they claimed was a record number of submissions.

Austria won the Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2008 with Stefan Ruzowitzky’s The Counterfeiters (Die Falscher) and had nominations in the following two years for Gotz Spielmann’s Revanche and Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon.