Some two dozen countries have now unveiled their entries for next year's best foreign-language Oscar, a race that has already thrown up some intriguing choices including an English-language film, The Touch, as Hong Kong's preference, and a Hungarian entry that is entirely dialogue free.

The UK, meanwhile, has submitted a film - The Warrior - which is shot in Hindi. (see separate story on today), while Sweden's choice Lilja 4-Ever is almost entirely in Russian.

The deadline for entry is today (Nov 1). The Academy's Foreign Language Film Award Committee will screen all the submissions before putting forward a final shortlist of five Oscar nominees.

Vying for those prestige - and commercially beneficial slots - are several of the higher-profile films to have hit the international festival circuit this past year and a few unknowns such as Zhang Yimou's historical martial arts epic Hero which has just been given a qualifying run in an obscure Chinese theatre.

Several submissions already have the promotional advantage of a US distributor behind them including City Of God (Miramax), Hero (Miramax), 8 Women (Focus), The Crime Of Father Amaro (Goldwyn), Lilja 4-Ever (Newmarket) and Nowhere In Africa (Zeitgeist).

As already been reported, Lilja 4-Ever was cleared by the Academy as Sweden's official entry even though its dialogue is mainly in spoken Russian. Just as interesting will be the Academy reception to Peter Pau's The Touch, produced by Michelle Yeoh, which has just a smattering of Mandarin.

Among the key territories still to submit their submissions are Italy, winner of several foreign-language Oscars in the past, and Spain, which has narrowed its own submissions to a field of three: Pedro Almodovar'sTalk To Her, Jose Luis Garci's Story Of A Kiss and Fernando Leon's Mondays In The Sun.

Entrants so far to the Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film category:

Argentina Kamchatka - Marcelo Pineyro
Belgium The Son (Le Fils) - Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
Brazil City Of God (Cidade De Deus) - Fernando Meirelles
China Hero - Zhang Yimou
Czech Republic Wild Bees - Bohdan Slama
Denmark Open Hearts (Elsker Dig For Evigt)- Susanne Bier
Finland The Man Without A Past - Aki Kaurismäki
France 8 Women (8 Femmes) - Francois Ozon
Germany Nowhere In Africa (Nirgendwo In Afrika) - Caroline Link
Hong Kong The Touch- Peter Pau
Hungary Hukkle - Gyorgy Palfi
India Devdas - Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Mexico The Crime Of Father Amaro (El Crimen De Padre Amaro) - Carlos Carrera
Zus & Zo - Paula van der Oest
Poland Edi - Piotr Trzaskalski
Portugal O Delfim - Fernando Lopes
Russia House Of Fools (Dom Durakov) - Andrei Konchalovsky
South Korea Oasis - Lee Chang-dong
Sweden Lilja 4-ever - Lukas Moodysson
Taiwan The Best Of Times - Chang Tso-Chi
Thailand Mon-rak Transistor - Pen-ek Ratanaruang
United Kingdom The Warrior - Asif Kapadia
Yugoslavia - Labyrinth - Miroslav Lekic