Oscar 2017 Predictions: Will Belgium win its first Oscar with Toronto selection 'The Ardennes?'
Belgium submitted "The Ardennes" as its official selection for the Academy Awards. The film, which marks director Robin Pront's feature film debut, premiered at the Toronto Film festival last year and went on to be a critical hit. The film also received the Magritte Award for Best Foreign Film in Coproduction and played at numerous festivals including the Chicago International and the Jerusalem Film Festivals.
"The Ardennes" faced tough competition this year from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes film "The Unknown Girl." That film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and generated so much buzz. However, after receiving ten Ensor Award nominations, Belgium's equivalent of the Academy Awards it was "The Ardennes" that was picked. "The Ardennes" will be distributed by Film Movement this fall.
Belgium began submitting films in 1967 and has generated seven nominations since. Among the country's recent nominees include "The Broken Circle Breakdown" in 2013 and "Bullhead" in 2011. However, Belgium has never won a single Academy Award.
Last year Belgium came close to its eighth nomination with "The Brand New Testament." The film made the January shortlist and was even nominated for a Golden Globe. It also received two European Film Award nominations.
Every year countries around the world submit films to compete in the Foreign Language category. A number of countries have already submitted providing some very strong festival favorites. Among the strong contenders which have already been submitted include festival favorites from Venezuela ("From Afar") and Germany ("Toni Erdmann").
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.