Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | Updated at 3:04 AM ET

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Oscar 2017 Predictions: Portugal Chooses Berlinale selection 'Letters from War' as its Official Selection for the Academy Awards

First Posted: Sep 14, 2016 08:50 PM EDT
Letters from War

Letters from War (Photo : Berlin Film festival )

Portugal has submitted "Letters from War" to represent at the Oscars. Directed by Ivo M. Ferriera, the film had its world premiere at the Berlin Film festival where it competed for the Golden Bear. It later went on to compete at the Sydney, IndieLisboa and Sarajevo Film Festivals.

The film is based on the epistolary novel "D'este viver aqui neste papel descripto" by António Lobo Antunes and tells the story of a young soldier, doctor and a aspirant writer who writes letters to his wife while he was serving in Angola between 1971 and 1973, during the Portuguese Colonial War.

The film marks the first time Ferriera is representing Portugal at the Academy Awards and with such great buzz the film could land Portugal its first nomination.

The country has submitted since 1980 and has seen a variety of award winning films submitted. Nine of the 31 submitted have been from prolific director Manuoel de Oliviera and a number have also been from award winning director Miguel Gomes. However, the country has never been able to get nominated and has also never made the shortlist.

Last year Portugal challenged the Academy with the Cannes Film Festival selection "Arabian Nights Part 2." The film was part of a trilogy that was critically acclaimed and was shown at New York Film Festival. The film was also nominated for the European Film Awards where it won best Sound Design.

"Letters from War" has a good chance at the nomination but first it must compete against fellow Berlin Film Festival competition films "Death in Sarajevo" and "On the Other Side." Other films it will be competitng against are Chile's "Neruda," Germany's "Toni Erdman," Spain's "Julietta," Venezuela's "From Afar," and Finland's 'The Happiest Day in the Life of the Olli Maki'

Recent Foreign Language film winners have included "Son of Saul," "Ida," "The Great Beauty," and "A Separation."

The deadline to submit for the foreign language category is Oct. 3. 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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