The Netherlands and Austria have chosen Joram Lürsen’s “The Resistance Banker” and Ruth Beckermann’s “The Waldheim Waltz” as their respective foreign-language Oscar candidates.
“The Resistance Banker” is set in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam during World War II and tells the true story of Walraven van Hall, a banker who financed the Dutch Resistance by defrauding the Central Bank. Netflix has acquired global rights to the film outside of China, Belgium and the Netherlands and plans a rollout on Sept.11.
The movie was produced by Sytze van der Laan, Sabine Brian and Alain de Levita for the Dutch banner NL Film and TV, in co-production with EO-Evangelical Broadcasting and Belgium’s Zilvermeer Productions.
Lürsen is best-known for directing “In Orange” and “The Magicians.” “The Resistance Banker” has been nominated for a record 12 Golden Calf nominations, the national film awards of the Netherlands Film Festival. “The Resistance Banker” is also one of the highest-grossing Dutch titles at the local box office.
Austria’s entry, “The Waldheim Waltz,” is a documentary shedding light on the Nazi war-crimes scandal surrounding Kurt Waldheim, the former U.N. Secretary General, who was president of Austria from 1986 to 1992. During World War II, Waldheim was a lieutenant in army intelligence attached to German military units.
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“The Waldheim Waltz” world premiered at Berlin, where it won the Glashutte Prize for best documentary. Austria has previously won two foreign-language Oscars, for Stefan Ruzowitzky’s “The Counterfeiters” in 2007 and for Michael Haneke’s “Amour” in 2012.
Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 22. The 91st Oscars ceremony will take place Feb. 24.