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Oscar gets newbies

Debut works will rep Switzerland, Brazil

Two first-timers helmers have had their films picked for foreign-language Oscar contention: Polish-born Greg Zglinski’s “Tout un hiver sans feu” (One Long Winter Without Fire) will represent Switzerland. Breno Silveira’s debut biopic about country music duo Zeze Di Camargo & Luciano, “2 filhos de Francisco” (Two Sons of Francisco), is Brazil’s choice.

“Winter” was produced by Lausanne-based CAB Prods., and was recommended to the Federal Office of Cultural Affairs by the Film Commission jury.

Pic is about a couple, coping with the death of their daughter, whose lives are changed by a friendship with refugees from Kosovo.

Pic won this year’s Swiss Film Prize for feature, and nabbed the Signis and the CinemAvvenire prizes at last year’s Venice Film Festival. It’s in the running for the European Film Awards.

Brazil’s “Two Sons” was picked from 12 nominations by a panel of film critics put together by the Ministry of Culture.

Released on Aug. 19 by Columbia on 290 prints in 350 screens, pic is a local B.O. phenomenon. It sold 2.66 million tickets and grossed 19.61 million reals ($8.63 million) in five weeks.

Pic centers on Francisco, a poor peasant who struggled to help two of his nine kids become country music performers. Zeze Di Camargo & Luciano have sold more than 22 million CDs in Brazil.

Pic is produced by Conspiracao Filmes and co-produced by Globo Filmes, the theatrical arm of local media giant Organizacoes Globo.

The closing date for submissions to the foreign-language Oscar is Oct. 3. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will announce the nominations Jan. 31; the 78th Oscar ceremony will take place March 5.

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