Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | Updated at 9:40 PM ET

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Oscar 2017 Predictions: Latvia Selects Festival Hit 'Ausma' for the Academy Awards

First Posted: Sep 23, 2016 12:00 PM EDT
Ausma

Ausma (Photo : Cineuropa)

"Ausma" will represent Latvia at the 89th Academy Awards.

The film directed by Laila Pakalnina premiered at the Tallinn Black Nights, Gothenburg and Seattle International Film Festivals where it competed for top prizes. The film takes place in the times of the Soviet Union and it has obtained rave reviews.

Latvia has a very short history with the Academy Awards. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the country began submitting but not consistently. In its brief Oscar history the country has submitted eight times but has never been nominated.

Last year Latvia sent the award winning film "Modris." The movie premiered in the world cinema sidebar at the Toronto Film Festival and was also showcased at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

European cinema is some of the most honored at the Academy Awards and this year a number of high profile films from Europe will be competing for a nomination in the Foreign Language category. Among the films are Denmark's "Land of Mine," Germany's "Toni Erdmann" and Spain's "Julieta." Other European films that will compete for the Oscar include Georgia's "House of Others," Romania's "Sieranevada," Belgium's "The Ardennes," Greece's "Chevalier," Estonia's "Mother., and Bosnia's "Death in Sarajevo."

Last year the category went to Hungary for the harrowing Holocaust thriller "Son of Saul." The film made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival before going onto make an impact in the festival circuit.

 The Foreign Language Film deadline to submit 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.

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