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‘Accused’ Tapped Dutch Candidate for Oscar’s Foreign-Language Noms

Paula van der Oest’s thriller drama “Accused” (“Lucia de B.”) will represent the Netherlands in the race for foreign-language film race at the Academy Awards.

“Accused,” which is based on a true story of Lucia de Berk and penned by Moniek Kramer and Tijs van Marle, turns on the journey of a 40-year-old nurse nicknamed Angel of Death who was sentenced to life in prison.

Starring Ariane Schluter, Sallie Harmsen and Barry Atsma, “Accused” had successful run in Benelux, where it was distributed by Independent Films, and was recently released on DVD and VOD.

Fortissimo has already sold the movie to Latin America, Sweden, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Lithuania. More deals are being negotiated. Pic will play at the Netherlands Film Festival at the end of the month.

It’s the second film by van der Oest submitted to the Oscars. The Dutch helmer’s 2002 pic “Zus & Zo” was nominated for a foreign-lingo Academy Award. Over the eight Dutch films that have been nominated during the last 15 years, three of them won:  “The Assault” (“De aanslag”) in 1986, “Antonia’s Line” (“Antonia”) in 1995 and “Character” (“Karakter”) in 1997.

The movie was produced by Rinkel Film, along with broadcaster NCRV, Filmkreatörerna (Sweden), Living Stone (Belgium) and Lucil Film (Luxemburg). “Accused” was financed by the Netherlands Film Fund, the CoBO Fund, the NCRV, the Swedish Film Institute and the Belgian Tax Shelter. Benelux distribution is handled by Independent Films.

The deadline for submitting foreign-language film entries is Oct. 1. Academy Award nominations will be announced on Jan. 15. The 87th Oscars ceremony will take place on Feb. 22.

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