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Oscar Race: New Zealand Picks ‘The Dead Lands’ for Foreign-Language Race

New Zealand has selected Maori-language “The Dead Lands” as its entry in the Oscar foreign-language race.

Toa Fraser’s film centers around a Maori chieftain’s teenage son, who must avenge his father’s murder. Starring James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare, Te Kohe Tuhaka, George Henare, Xavier Horan and Rena Owen, “Dead Lands” played in Toronto earlier this month.

See also: “The Dead Lands” review

A U.K./New Zealand co-production, this is Fraser’s fourth film and was scripted by Glenn Standring.

The Kiwi selection committee includes Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, David Coulson, Ngila Dickson, John Toon and is chaired by NZFC CEO Dave Gibson, who called the film “beautifully shot and deftly told, with an amazing cast of warriors.”

Pic has been picked up by Magnet Releasing for U.S. distribution.

The deadline for submitting films to the foreign-language race is Oct. 1. Nominations come out Jan. 15 and the Oscar ceremony is set for Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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