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Oscars: A record 93 countries submit films for consideration in International Feature Film

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences said Monday that a record number of 93 countries have submitted films for consideration in the International Feature Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards next year.

The most notable selections here include Bong Joon Ho’s Palme d’Or-winning Parasite, which was submitted by South Korea, and Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory starring Antonio Banderas, which was submitted by Spain.

The Academy’s Board of Governors voted earlier this year to rename the Foreign Language Film category to International Feature Film, a title the Academy believes “better represents this category, and promotes a positive and inclusive view of filmmaking, and the art of film as a universal experience.”

A shortlist of the 10 films that will be up for an International Feature Film nomination will be announced Monday, December 16, while the nominations for the 92nd Oscars will be announced Monday, January 13.

The 2019 submissions for International Feature Film, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Albania, “The Delegation,” Bujar Alimani, director;
Algeria, “Papicha,” Mounia Meddour, director;
Argentina, “Heroic Losers,” Sebastián Borensztein, director;
Armenia, “Lengthy Night,” Edgar Baghdasaryan, director;
Australia, “Buoyancy,” Rodd Rathjen, director;
Austria, “Joy,” Sudabeh Mortezai, director;
Bangladesh, “Alpha,” Nasiruddin Yousuff, director;
Belarus, “Debut,” Anastasiya Miroshnichenko, director;
Belgium, “Our Mothers,” César Díaz, director;
Bolivia, “I Miss You,” Rodrigo Bellott, director;
Bosnia and Herzegovina, “The Son,” Ines Tanovic, director;
Brazil, “Invisible Life,” Karim Aïnouz, director;
Bulgaria, “Ága,” Milko Lazarov, director;
Cambodia, “In the Life of Music,” Caylee So, Sok Visal, directors;
Canada, “Antigone,” Sophie Deraspe, director;
Chile, “Spider,” Andrés Wood, director;
China, “Ne Zha,” Yu Yang, director;
Colombia, “Monos,” Alejandro Landes, director;
Costa Rica, “The Awakening of the Ants,” Antonella Sudasassi Furniss, director;
Croatia, “Mali,” Antonio Nuic, director;
Cuba, “A Translator,” Rodrigo Barriuso, Sebastián Barriuso, directors;
Czech Republic, “The Painted Bird,” Václav Marhoul, director;
Denmark, “Queen of Hearts,” May el-Toukhy, director;
Dominican Republic, “The Projectionist,” José María Cabral, director;
Ecuador, “The Longest Night,” Gabriela Calvache, director;
Egypt, “Poisonous Roses,” Ahmed Fawzi Saleh, director;
Estonia, “Truth and Justice,” Tanel Toom, director;
Ethiopia, “Running against the Wind,” Jan Philipp Weyl, director;
Finland, “Stupid Young Heart,” Selma Vilhunen, director;
France, “Les Misérables,” Ladj Ly, director;
Georgia, “Shindisi,” Dimitri Tsintsadze, director;
Germany, “System Crasher,” Nora Fingscheidt, director;
Ghana, “Azali,” Kwabena Gyansah, director;
Greece, “When Tomatoes Met Wagner,” Marianna Economou, director;
Honduras, “Blood, Passion, and Coffee,” Carlos Membreño, director;
Hong Kong, “The White Storm 2 Drug Lords,” Herman Yau, director;
Hungary, “Those Who Remained,” Barnabás Tóth, director;
Iceland, “A White, White Day,” Hlynur Pálmason, director;
India, “Gully Boy,” Zoya Akhtar, director;
Indonesia, “Memories of My Body,” Garin Nugroho, director;
Iran, “Finding Farideh,” Azadeh Moussavi, Kourosh Ataee, directors;
Ireland, “Gaza,” Garry Keane, Andrew McConnell, directors;
Israel, “Incitement,” Yaron Zilberman, director;
Italy, “The Traitor,” Marco Bellocchio, director;
Japan, “Weathering with You,” Makoto Shinkai, director;
Kazakhstan, “Kazakh Khanate. The Golden Throne,” Rustem Abdrashov, director;
Kenya, “Subira,” Ravneet Singh (Sippy) Chadha, director;
Kosovo, “Zana,” Antoneta Kastrati, director;
Kyrgyzstan, “Aurora,” Bekzat Pirmatov, director;
Latvia, “The Mover,” Davis Simanis, director;
Lebanon, “1982,” Oualid Mouaness, director;
Lithuania, “Bridges of Time,” Audrius Stonys, Kristine Briede, directors;
Luxembourg, “Tel Aviv on Fire,” Sameh Zoabi, director;
Malaysia, “M for Malaysia,” Dian Lee, Ineza Roussille, directors;
Mexico, “The Chambermaid,” Lila Avilés, director;
Mongolia, “The Steed,” Erdenebileg Ganbold, director;
Montenegro, “Neverending Past,” Andro Martinović, director;
Morocco, “Adam,” Maryam Touzani, director;
Nepal, “Bulbul,” Binod Paudel, director;
Netherlands, “Instinct,” Halina Reijn, director;
Nigeria, “Lionheart,” Genevieve Nnaji, director;
North Macedonia, “Honeyland,” Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, directors;
Norway, “Out Stealing Horses,” Hans Petter Moland, director;
Pakistan, “Laal Kabootar,” Kamal Khan, director;
Palestine, “It Must Be Heaven,” Elia Suleiman, director;
Panama, “Everybody Changes,” Arturo Montenegro, director;
Peru, “Retablo,” Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, director;
Philippines, “Verdict,” Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, director;
Poland, “Corpus Christi,” Jan Komasa, director;
Portugal, “The Domain,” Tiago Guedes, director;
Romania, “The Whistlers,” Corneliu Porumboiu, director;
Russia, “Beanpole,” Kantemir Balagov, director;
Saudi Arabia, “The Perfect Candidate,” Haifaa Al Mansour, director;
Senegal, “Atlantics,” Mati Diop, director;
Serbia, “King Petar the First,” Petar Ristovski, director;
Singapore, “A Land Imagined,” Yeo Siew Hua, director;
Slovakia, “Let There Be Light,” Marko Skop, director;
Slovenia, “History of Love,” Sonja Prosenc, director;
South Africa, “Knuckle City,” Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, director;
South Korea, “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho, director;
Spain, “Pain and Glory,” Pedro Almodóvar, director;
Sweden, “And Then We Danced,” Levan Akin, director;
Switzerland, “Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa,” Michael Steiner, director;
Taiwan, “Dear Ex,” Mag Hsu, Chih-Yen Hsu, directors;
Thailand, “Krasue: Inhuman Kiss,” Sitisiri Mongkolsiri, director;
Tunisia, “Dear Son,” Mohamed Ben Attia, director;
Turkey, “Commitment Asli,” Semih Kaplanoglu, director;
Ukraine, “Homeward,” Nariman Aliev, director;
United Kingdom, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” Chiwetel Ejiofor, director;
Uruguay, “The Moneychanger,” Federico Veiroj, director;
Uzbekistan, “Hot Bread,” Umid Khamdamov, director;
Venezuela, “Being Impossible,” Patricia Ortega, director;
Vietnam, “Furie,” Le Van Kiet, director.

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‘Big Little Lies’ star Zoe Kravitz to take on the role of Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’

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Zoe Kravitz is headed to Gotham as the Big Little Lies star has been set to play the iconic role of Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, Silver Screen Beat has learned.

Kravitz joins a cast that already includes the likes of Robert Pattinson as the titular Caped Crusader, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, and Jonah Hill as the yet-to-be-named villain. Reeves is expected to round out the rest of the cast before the year’s end in anticipation of an early 2020 production start.

Other actresses including Ana de Armas, Ella Balinska, and Eiza Gonzalez went through what was described as a “rigorous testing process,” for the role of Catwoman last month, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but it was ultimately Kravitz — who read opposite Pattinson — that was seen as the right fit for the job.

Reeves, who first boarded The Batman in early 2017 following the unsurprising departure of Ben Affleck, is directing the film from a script he wrote, in addition to producing along with his Planet of the Apes collaborator Dylan Clark.

Kravitz, still riding high off a well-reviewed performance in HBO’s second season of the star-studded drama Big Little Lies this past summer, can be seen next in Hulu’s High Fidelity, which is due out later this year.

The Batman is slated to be released by Warner Bros. June 25, 2021.

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Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt set sail on an Amazonian adventure in Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ trailer

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Disney has released the first trailer for Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt‘s Jungle Cruise, which finds the beloved Disneyland ride of the same name brought to life in the vein of such films as Indiana Jones and The African Queen.

The film, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, follows a charismatic riverboat captain (Johnson) and a determined explorer on a research mission (Blunt) as they set sail on an adventure-filled expedition through the Amazon-jungle in hopes of finding a tree that is believed to possess healing powers.

“We were just so moved, so honored to be in a movie like this because we both grew up just madly in love with Indiana Jones and obsessed with those kinds of movies,” Blunt said at the D23 Expo in August. “To be part of something like this, with this same spirit, makes my heart race.”

Added Johnson, “We wanted to make a movie that was big, that was epic, that had romance, big comedy, big action. But most important; it’s got me.”

In addition to Johnson and Blunt, the film’s ensemble cast also includes Jack Whitehall, Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti.

John Davis, John Fox, Johnson, Hiram Garcia, Dany Garcia, and Beau Flynn produced the film, with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer.

Jungle Cruise will sail into theaters on July 24, 2020.

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Disney-Pixar’s ‘Onward’ trailer finds Tom Holland, Chris Pratt summoning their dead father’s legs

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Onward
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Disney and Pixar have released a new trailer for Onward, the upcoming animated feature starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic out there.

And by magic, we’re talking like actual, literal magic. Set in a suburban fantasy world, Onward follows Ian and Barley as they try to summon their dead father back to life. Having never encountered magic before, though, the spell doesn’t completely work and only summons half their father — the bottom half, that is.

So, with their dad’s legs in tow, the boys set out on a road trip to try to find out how to bring the rest of him back to life, encountering all sorts of creatures, magical spells, and mysterious lands along the way.

The film, which was directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, features a star-studded voice cast that also includes the likes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Ian and Barely’s mom, Laurel Lightfoot, and Octavia Spencer as the voice of the Manticore.

Onward will hit theaters on March 6, 2020.

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