Oscars: Kazakhstan, Croatia Select Academy Award Entries

Kazakhstan and Croatia have added their entries for this year’s foreign-language film Oscar. Yermek Tursunov’s “Stranger” will represent Kazakhstan, while Dalibor Matanic’s “The High Sun” will represent Croatia.

“Stranger”, which receives its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, marks the third time Tursunov has represented Kazakhstan in the foreign-language Oscar race following 2009’s “Kelin” and 2012’s “Old Man”. “Stranger” is the director’s sixth feature.

The film continues Tursunov’s exploration of Kazakh nomads, telling the story of Ilyas, a young man who survived the famine of the ‘30s, Stalinist deportation and WWII by retreating in a cave to live off the land, but finds himself battling society in a bid to retain his freedom. “Stranger” was produced by Kanat Torebay for Tursunov Film.

“The High Sun” saw its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May in Un Certain Regard, where it was awarded the Jury Prize. The drama tells three different love stories, set in three consecutive decades in two neighboring Balkan villages, burdened with a long-history of inter-ethnic hatred.

The film was produced by Kinorama in co-production with Slovenia’s Gustav Film and in association with Serbia’s SEE Film Pro. It was selected as Croatia’s Oscar entry by a committee of 15 members of the Croatian Society of Film Workers, selecting from amongst seven films.

The five films nominated for the foreign-language film Oscar will be revealed on Jan. 14. The Oscar awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 28.

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