The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released the shortlist of nine features, including Laszlo Nemes' directorial debut, that will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 88th Oscars.
Eighty films had originally been considered in the category.
Foreign Language Film nominations for 2015 are being determined in two phases.
The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 14. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.
The shortlist will be winnowed down to the category’s five nominees by specially invited committees in New York, Los Angeles and London. They will spend Friday, January 8, through Sunday, January 10, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.
The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The 88th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre.
SON OF SAUL triumphs at the Pre-Oscar Awards
SON OF SAUL nominated for Best Foreign Language Film Golden Globe by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Son of Saul by László Nemes is even darker. As the HFPA’s Scott Orlin writes, the film is inside Auschwitz, one of the most brutal and inhumane concentration camps, the story follows Saul (Geza Rohrig), a Jewish prisoner who is forced to work the gas chambers as a member of a Sonderkommando – the prisoner squads that were charged with both leading prisoners in the gas chambers and then disposing of them after their murder – all-in-all a job born out of desperation to merely survive. Saul becomes consumed with a purpose. When a child dies, he sets out to ensure that a proper Jewish burial is performed; an act that seems impossible to perform in the midst of all the madness, but an act which nevertheless symbolically makes right of all the wrong that he has been forced to do. The film won the Grand Prix this past May at the Cannes Film Festival. -Luca Celada
Laszlo Nemes' highly acclaimed movie could be the first-ever Hungarian production awarded at the Golden Globes, founded in 1948 and seen as a milestone on the way to the Oscars. Only two Hungarian films have ever been nominated for the award - István Szabó’s Colonel Redl (1985) and Hanussen (1988).
SON OF SAUL named Best Foreign Language Film by the National Board of Review
For over 106 years the New York based National Board of Review has dedicated its efforts to the support of film, domestic and foreign, as both art and entertainment. The nonprofit organization celebrates the distinctive voice of the individual artist, honoring excellence and supporting freedom of expression in film.
SON OF SAUL named Best First Film by New York Film Critics Circle
New York Film Critics Circle, an organization of film reviewers from New York-based publications that exists to honor excellence in U.S. and world cinema.
Founded in 1935, the Circle’s membership includes critics from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, and qualifying on-line general-interest publications. Every year in December the organization meets in New York to vote on awards for the previous calendar year’s films.
SON OF SAUL named Best Foreign Language Film by Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Founded in 1975, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) is comprised of Los Angeles-based, professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electronic media.
Each December, LAFCA members vote on the year’s Achievement Awards, honouring screen excellence on both sides of the camera. Plaques of recognition are presented to winners during LAFCA’s annual ceremony, held in mid-January.
SON OF SAUL named Best Foreign Language Film by Boston Online Film Critics Association
The Boston Online Film Critics Association was established in May of 2012 in order to foster a community of web-based film critics and provide them with a supportive group of colleagues and a professional platform for their voices to be heard. In addition, we seek to become active members of the Boston film community by sponsoring screenings, supporting local film festivals, offering educational outreaches, and celebrating the achievements of individuals who make Boston a haven for cinephiles.
SON OF SAUL named Best Foreign Language Film by New York Film Critics Online
The New York Film Critics Online, is an organization composed of 38 top online film critics in New York City. It has a rich mix of reviewers who have carved out original, innovative spaces on the internet for critical illumination. The group meets once a year, in December, and votes its film awards for that year.
SON OF SAUL named Best Foreign Language Film by Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association
Founded in 2002, the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) comprises professional DC-based film critics with affiliations in television, radio, print and the internet. As of 2014, WAFCA has grown to include 55 dedicated members from the District, Maryland and Virginia.
SON OF SAUL named Best Foreign Language Picture by San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Founded in 2002, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle is comprised of critics from Bay Area publications. Its members include film journalists from the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Tribune, the Contra Costa Times, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, the East Bay Express, the San Jose Metro, Palo Alto Weekly, the Marin Independent Journal, the San Francisco Examiner, KRON-TV, Variety, RottenTomatoes.com and more.
GEZA ROHRIG named Best Actor by the Village Voice Film Critics Poll
Over 125 critics from across the country voted for their favorite films, performances, and filmmakers in 13 categories. Films were awarded five points each. A film is eligible only in the year that it was first distributed in the U.S. For six of those categories (Best Film of the Year, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Undistributed Film), critics had the option to either "rank" or "unrank" their votes.
SON OF SAUL named Best Foreign Language Film by Chicago Film Critics Association
The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) is an association of professional film critics, who work in print, broadcast and online media, based in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The organization was founded in 1990 by film critics Sharon LeMaire and Sue Kiner, following the success of the first Chicago Film Critics Awards given out in 1988. Membership in the Chicago Film Critics Association is restricted to professional (paid) film critics recognized by producers or editors of commercial media outlets as their official critical voice or staff authority on the cinematic arts.
Sony Pictures Classics releases Son of Saul exclusively in 35mm on December18 in N.Y. and L.A.
Son of Saul became part of the Hungarian film history before its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival: following in Karoly Makk's, Ferenc Kosa's and Sandor Sara's footsteps, after nearly 50 years a Hungarian first-time filmmaker was selected again for the Official Competition. The Hungarian debut feature won the the Grand Prix alongside the International Federation of Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI), the François Chalais Prize and the Vulcain Prize of the Technical Artists to recognize Tamas Zanyi sound engineer.