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Oscar 2017 Predictions: Is Germany's Oscar Selection 'Toni Erdmann' the Front-Runner for Foreign Language Film?

First Posted: Aug 25, 2016 12:00 PM EDT
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Toni Erdmann

Photo : Sony Pictures Classics

Germany submitted "Toni Erdmann" as its official selection for the Academy Awards. Directed by Maren Ade, the movie emerged as a front-runner when it premiered at the Cannes Film festival this past May.

"Toni Erdmann" made its world premiere at Cannes where it won the FIPRESCI award and was an early front-runner for the Palme D'Or. However, to the surprise of many pundits it went home empty handed.

Regardless the movie recently made it into the top 100 films of the 21st century by BBC and is slated to premiere at the Toronto and New York Films Festivals. It is also entering the race as the front-runner to win the Foreign Language category and it will be helped by its distributor Sony pictures Classics.

Sony Pictures has been a dominant force in the foreign language category as it released recent winners "Son of Saul," "Amour," "A Separation," and "In a Better World." It has also released nominees "Leviathan," "Wild Tales," "No," "Footnote" and "In Darkness." With "Toni Erdmann," the company hopes to add yet another statue to its growing list of winners.

Germany has been a dominant force at the Academy Awards scoring eight nominations and two wins since the country's unification in 1990. Germany won the Oscar in 2002 for the film "Nowhere in Africa" and in 2006 for "The Lives of Others."

The country was last nominated in 2009 for "The White Ribbon." However, after having dominated the category throughout awards season, the film was surprised by the Argentine thriller "The Secret in their Eyes."

Last year Germany came close to a nomination with its selection "Labyrinth of Lies." The film, which was released by Sony Pictures Classics and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, made the January shortlist and was a favorite.

Every year countries around the world submit films to compete in the Foreign Language category. Among the strong contenders which "Toni Erdmann" will compete against include festival favorites from Venezuela ("From Afar") and Saudi Arabia ("Barakah Meets Barakah.")

The deadline for the foreign language category 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 and on Jan. 24 nominations will be announced. The winner will be announced at the Oscar ceremony on Feb. 26, 2017.

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