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Southeast Asian films fail to make the Oscars 2017 shortlist

Writer: Arivintiran Ponnan


The annual awards is regarded as the most prestigious honour in the movie industry.

16 Dec – Out of a record 85 submission, nine movies were shortlisted for the next round of the 89th Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film category, but sadly none from Southeast Asia made the cut.

In fact, only one Asian production made it to the next round; Iran's "The Salesman", directed by Asghar Farhadi.

The other films that made it to the next round of the most prestigious award in showbiz are Australia's "Tanna", Canada's "It's Only the End of the World", Denmark's "Land of Mine", Germany's "Toni Erdmann", Norway's "The King's Choice", Russia's "Paradise", Sweden's "A Man Called Ove" and Switzerland's "My Life as a Zucchini".

The six films were shortlisted by the Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences committee while three others were voted by the Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, taking the tally to nine films in total.

Notable exclusion from the list would be Malaysia's highly acclaimed "Redha" directed by Tunku Mona Riza that tells the heart-warming story of an autistic boy and his father who struggles to come to terms with his son's condition.

"Apprentice" a gripping prison drama directed by Singapore's Boo Junfeng was also highly anticipated to make it to the finals with it drawing applauds from film festivals all over the world.

But the search for an Oscar worthy Southeast Asian entry will still go on as Cambodia's documentary, "The Missing Picture" did make it once before and is the closest by far to reach an Oscar.

The documentary made it to the final five nominees of the Oscars in 2013, but lost to Italy's "The Great Beauty".

Nevertheless, with increasing eminent features in the region, it is highly possible that the Oscars will honour the Southeast Asia industry sooner rather than later.

Finalists for the Best Foreign Language Film will be announced on January 24, 2017 with the winners being announced on 26 February, 2017 at the 89th Annual Academy Awards ceremony.

Cinema Online, 16 December 2016
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