Oscars: Eastern and Central Europe Submits Further Runners in Awards Race

'The Summer of Sangaile,' which played at Sundance, represents Lithuania at the Oscars

LONDON — Russia has become the latest country from Eastern and Central Europe to select its candidate to contest in the foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards. This follows a flurry of submissions recently from other nations in the region, including Georgia, the three Baltic states, multiple Balkan countries, and Austria, as the deadline approaches.

Russia has entered “Sunstroke” from director Nikita Mikhalkov, who won the Oscar in 1995 with “Burnt by the Sun.” “Sunstroke,” which is based on the novel by Nobel Prize-winner Ivan Bunin, is a love story set in Crimea in the 1920s.

Levan Tutberidze’s “Moira,” which world premieres at the San Sebastian Film Festival, represents Georgia. The film centers on a young man, who has just been released from prison. He tries to rescue his family from poverty by investing in a fishing boat, which he names after the goddess of fate, Moira.

Recent submissions from the Balkan countries include Iris Elezi and Thomas Logoreci’s “Bota” from Albania, which is about the tragic lives of the owner and waitresses in a bar in a desolate landscape. Other Balkan entries include Ivo Trajkov’s political thriller “Honey Night” from Macedonia; Sonja Prosenc’s family drama “The Tree” for Slovenia; and Goran Radovanovic’s “Enclave,” which looks at ethnic divisions in Kosovo, for Serbia.

The entries from the Baltic states are Elmo Nuganen’s World War II drama “1944” for Estonia, Juris Kursietis’ coming-of-age story “Modris” for Latvia, and Alante Kavaite’s teen romance “The Summer of Sangaile” for Lithuania, which won the directing prize in Sundance Film Festival’s international dramatic competition.

Psychological horror “Goodnight Mommy,” which was directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, will represent Austria.

The deadline to submit foreign-language films for the Academy Awards is Oct. 1. The entries will be shortlisted to nine from which the nominations will be determined, and announced Jan. 14. The Oscars take place Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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