Kazakhstan, Malaysia land Oscar invites

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 91 countries, two more than last year, to submit films for consideration in the foreign language film category for the 78th Academy Awards.

The new kid on the awards block is the republic of Kazakhstan. Malaysia, which submitted a film for the 77th Awards without an invite, gets the official nod this year.

In 2004, 50 countries out of the 89 invited to submit films actually did so — down from the previous year’s record high of 56.  

Alejandro Amenabar’s “The Sea Inside,” starring Javier Bardem, won the Oscar this year for Spain. It beat Sweden’s “As It Is in Heaven,” Gaul’s “The Chorus,” Germany’s “Downfall” and South Africa’s “Yesterday,” the first commercial Zulu-language film.

Since 1956, 99 countries have submitted films to the foreign-language competition.

To qualify for consideration for the 2005 award, a film must be released in the submitting country between Oct. 1, 2004, and Sept. 30, 2005, and publicly screened in 35mm or 70mm for at least seven consecutive days.

Dialogue must be predominantly in an official language of the submitting country. Accurate English subtitles are required.

Entry forms must be received at the Academy by Oct. 3, and films must be received by Oct. 14. Only one picture is accepted from each country.

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