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Lithuania selects ‘Ramin’ for Oscar bout

Docu focuses on wrestler's love quest

MOSCOW — Lithuania finally entered a film for best foreign-language Oscar Monday, when after two rounds of voting the Baltic country’s selection committee opted for Audrius Stonys’ documentary “Ramin.”

The 58-minute film tells the story of Ramin Lomsadze, a 75-year-old Georgian wrestler, famous for having once won seven matches in 55 seconds.

A film about love rather than wrestling, it follows Ramin as he prepares for a fight with his last and most formidable opponent — loneliness.

A man who never allowed anyone or anything — not even love — to conquer him, Ramin sets off on a journey to a remote Georgian village to seek out the girl he loved, and lost 50 years ago.

Produced by London- and Banja Luka-based Taskovski Films, the film was chosen from a field of five Lithuanian movies.

The decision — due to be formally announced in Vilnius on Wednesday — is likely to prove controversial. This is due to the fact that the film, although by an acclaimed Lithuanian director, is set entirely in Georgia, and the news that the decision was arrived at after two rounds of voting indicates there was a split in the committee. One Lithuanian film industry professional told Variety: “This decision is absolutely unexpected and sensational.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for best foreign film on Jan. 10. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 24.

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