Emanuele Crialese’s Ellis Island immigration drama “Golden Door” is Italy’s candidate for a foreign-language Oscar nomination.
Other submissions are Marwan Hamed’s controversial drama “The Yacoubian Building,” from Egypt; Daniel Burman’s “Family Law,” from Argentina; and “Contact,” the debut feature from helmer Sergej Stanojkovski, from Macedonia.
Crialese’s accomplished pic, about the travels and travails of Sicily’s underprivileged Mancuso family as they seek a better life Stateside circa 1900, scooped a Venice Silver Lion and subsequently screened in Toronto.
Produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy’s Paris-based Memento and Italy’s Titti Films, in collaboration with RAI Cinema, “Door” is in release via RAI Cinema’s 01 distribution side in Italy, where it has grossed a respectable E750,000 ($950,000) in two weeks.
It was selected to represent Italy’s Oscar hopes by a 15-member committee of industryites and critics picked by local motion picture association Anica, and will benefit from $190,00 in promotional coin allocated for the Oscar race by Italy’s Culture Ministry.
“The Yacoubian Building,” at $4 million the most expensive production in Egyptian cinema history, broke records with a $2 million B.O. take in its first three weeks of domestic release. However, it has been criticized at home for its daring portrayal of Islamic fundamentalism, police brutality and homosexuality.
Burman’s “Family Law” (Ley de familia) is the helmer’s second Oscar entry, following 2004’s “El abrazo partido” (Lost Embrace). “Law” will open in December in the U.S. through IFC First Take.
The Argentine Film Arts & Sciences Academy selected the father-and-son drama from 58 hopefuls. A hit at the box office early this year, “Law” beat a strong lineup of candidates, including Adrian Caetano’s Cannes entry “Cronica de una fuga.”
The academy selected vet helmer Alejandro Doria’s “Las manos” (The Hands), based on the real life of a miracle-performing priest, as a contender for Spain’s Goya Awards.
Macedonia’s “Contact,” shot entirely in that country, was deemed the only pic that met AMPAS’ criteria, according to the Assn. of Film Workers.
The first Macedonian film to receive support from Eurimages, it’s produced by Tomi Salkovski, Marcello Busse and Marcus Halberschmidt.
Monday was the deadline for submissions in the category. The Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 23, with the awards presented Feb. 25.
(Charles Newbery in Buenos Aires contributed to this report.)