Egen's sophomore pic vies for foreign language Oscar

MOSCOW — Nurbek Egen’s “The Empty Home” has been nominated as Kyrgyzstan’s choice for foreign language Oscar consideration.

A new take on a familiar central Asia theme — a local innocent heads to Moscow to try to make her fortune — the Kyrgyzstan-Russia-France co-production has a strong feminist slant.

Poor but beautiful Ascel (Marel Koichukaraeva) is engaged to marry Sultan, a local Mr. Big, but is secretly pregnant with her lover’s child. Determined to better herself, she heads to Moscow for an abortion.

There she falls in with other “gastarbeiters” as the Russians call migrant workers from central Asia, begins an affair with a wealthy Russian and agrees to sell her unborn child to a French woman (Cecile Plage).

Trouble looms when the father of the unborn child appears in Moscow.

Egen’s sophomore film, “The Empty Home” is scripted by Russia’s Ekaterina Tirdatova who worked on Aleksandr Kott’s “Fortress of War.”

It world preemed at the Seattle Film Festival in June.

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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