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Oscar 2017 Predictions: Romania Surprises with Cannes Film Festival selection 'Sieranevada' for the Oscars

First Posted: Aug 17, 2016 07:53 AM EDT
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Sieranevada

Photo : Mandragora Productions/Cannes Film Festival

"Sieranevada" has been selected as Romania's official selection for the Academy Awards. Directed by Cristi Puiu, the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it scored rave reviews and is now headed to the New York and Toronto Films Festivals where it will likely continue to obtain buzz.

"Sieranevada" beat out Cristian Mungiu's "Graduation" for the submission as both films competed at Cannes and were praised by critics alike. However, Mungiu's film won the Best Director award at Cannes and picked up U.S distribution."Sieranevada" however, has not received U.S distribution and its tricky 173 minute runtime will likely prove difficult for distributors.

This is Puiu's second film to be submitted by Romania. His film "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" was submitted back in 2005. That film won the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes and went on to be a festival hit.

Romania has never been nominated for the Academy Award even though it has been a dominant force at the festival circuit over the past years. In 2007 the film "4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days" was a frontrunner after winning the Palme D'Or at Cannes, the European Film Award and being nominated for the Golden Golden. However, the film never made it to the January shortlist inciting an outcry by the international media.

The closest the country has ever come to a nomination was in 2012 when "Beyond the Hills" made the January shortlist but failed to get nominated. That film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it won a double Best Actress prize and the Screenplay award. It later went on to be distributed by IFC Films.

Last year Romiana submitted the Berlin Film Festival hit "Aferim!." That film won the Best Director award at Berlin and received a screenplay nomination at the European Film Awards.

Every year multiple countries submit films to compete in the Foreign Language category. Last year Hungary took home the Oscar for "Son of Saul" by Laszlo Nemes and competed against 81 other countries. Other recent winners to take home the award include Poland's "Ida," Italy's "The Great Beauty" and Austria's "Amour."

The deadline for submissions is Oct. 3 with the Academy announcing a list of eligible films later that month. On Jan. 17 the Academy will announce the nine finalists from among the eligible films. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 24 and the winner will be announced at the Oscar ceremony on Feb. 26, 2017.

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