Entertainment & Arts

Yemen in running for foreign film Oscar

Ray Haratian and Narges Rashidi in Under the Shadow Image copyright Vertigo Releasing
Image caption UK entry Under the Shadow is set in Tehran in a house possibly inhabited by evil spirits

A total of 85 countries, including the UK, have submitted films for the 2017 best foreign language film Oscar.

Among them is Yemen, whose entry - I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced - marks the first time it has been in contention.

Afterimage - the final film of Polish director Andrzej Wajda, who died earlier this week at the age of 90 - is Poland's official entrant.

The UK is represented by Under the Shadow, a ghost film set in Tehran in which all the dialogue is Farsi.

The debut feature from British-Iranian director Babak Anvari was produced by London-based film company Wigwam.

Spain's Pedro Almodovar and Dutch director Paul Verhoeven are among the well-known directors to have their latest films submitted.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Wajda previously received an honorary award, from Jane Fonda, at the 2000 Oscars

The latter's film Elle, a provocative drama starring Isabelle Huppert, is France's official entrant for next year's award.

Jonas Cuaron, son of Oscar-winning Gravity director Alfonso, is at the helm of Desierto, Mexico's official submission.

A longlist of nine films will be selected from the 85 submissions in December, out of which five will be shortlisted.

The UK have only been shortlisted on two occasions - 1993 and 1999. Both times were for films in Welsh.

The selected five will be announced on 24 January ahead of the awards ceremony on 26 February.

Last year's foreign film Oscar was won by the Hungarian Holocaust drama Son of Saul.

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