Swiss Films has entered Bettina Oberli's comedy Late Bloomers (Die Herbstzeitlosen) for Switzerland to the Academy Award race for a nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

To date, Late Bloomers is the most successful film in Switzerland since 1978 with just over 600,000 admissions. The film has also scored a notable success in the German cinemas with more than 220,000 admissions for distributor X-Verleih. In Austria, more than 30,000 cinema-goers have let been tallied since the theatrical release four weeks ago.

The film's production company Catpics Coproductions previously won the Foreign Language Oscar in 1991 with Xavier Koller's Journey Of Hope.

Late Bloomers had its world premiere last year at the 59th Locarno Film Festival and elicited standing ovations from the premiere's audience. The lead actress Stephanie Glaser, in particular, became an audience favourite, receiving a Special Leopard in Locarno, the SwissAward in the category for culture at the beginning of the year.

The film is about an 80-year-old woman in a small Swiss town who regains her zest for life through a group of elderly girlfriends.

'This is a fantastic success for this charming film. There is a big demand from international buyers and we are expecting to close further deals at the AFM,' said Justyna Musch, programme acquisition & sales for the film's sales agent Telepool.