Oscars announce shortlist for foreign language films

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From a list of 66 films submitted by countries around the world, nine films have been selected for the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 83rd Academy Awards.

The foreign-language films under consideration are:

. Algeria - Hors la Loi (Outside the Law), Rachid Bouchareb, director
. Canada - Incendies, Denis Villeneuve, director
. Denmark - In a Better World, Susanne Bier, director
. Greece - Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos, director
. Japan - Confessions, Tetsuya Nakashima, director
. Mexico - Biutiful, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director
. South Africa - Life, Above All, Oliver Schmitz, director
. Spain - Tambien la Lluvia (Even the Rain), Iciar Bollain, director
. Sweden - Simple Simon, Andreas Ohman, director

In one of the most unpredictable categories, some of the choices were surprises to film critics, according to the Los Angeles Times, except for Mexico's Biutiful by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, whose star, Javier Bardem, won the best actor prize at Cannes last May, and Denmark's In a Better World by Susanne Bier, which won a Golden Globe last Sunday, January 16.

This shortlist was determined by the Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred members who screened all eligible films. Three additional selections were voted on by the Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee.

The second phase will narrow down the list of films to five nominees, with committees in New York and Los Angeles casting their ballots.

The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 25, at 5:30 am PT from Los Angeles.

The Academy Awards ceremony will be televised Sunday, February 27, 2011, from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California on ABC Television to more than 200 countries worldwide.