LOS ANGELES, USA – Yemen is competing for an Academy Award for best foreign language film for the first time, one of 85 countries submitting entries including Paul Verhoeven's Elle and Pedro Almodovar's Julieta, organizers announced Tuesday, October 11.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars, will consider Yemeni director Khadija al-Salami's I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced – which explores the culture of child brides – it said in a statement.
The entries for Best Foreign Language Film also include Dutch director Verhoeven's Elle, a transgressive thriller starring French actress Isabelle Huppert, and Afterimage, by the legendary Polish director Andrzej Wajda, who died Sunday, October 9.
Wajda portrayed the last years of avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski, who battled Stalinist orthodoxy, in a film some see as a metaphor for present-day Poland under the conservative Law and Justice Party.
Mexico's Jonas Cuaron, son of star director Alfonso Cuaron, directed his country's entry, the thriller Desierto, while Spain entered Almodovar's Julieta, a vibrant portrait of a woman confronting crisis.
Switzerland submitted the animated My Life as a Zucchini, by Claude Barras, and Italy sent Gianfranco Rosi's Fire at Sea, a documentary about migrants' lives, focusing on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The academy will make a preliminary cut later this year before announcing five finalists in January.
The 89th Oscars ceremony is set for February 26, 2017.
Hungary's Son of Saul, by director Laszlo Nemes, won the prestigious award this year. – Rappler.com