If Beyoncé plans to take part in the Oscar festivities this weekend, then her people should reach out to the producers of War Witch. As I wrote yesterday, 16-year-old Rachel Mwanza, who gives a remarkable first-time acting performance in the movie has been granted a visa to attend the Oscars. And her big dream is to meet Sasha Fierce during her trip to the United States.
War Witch star Rachel Mwanza is headed to Hollywood, and she's earned her close-up. On Wednesday, Tribeca Film announced that 16-year-old Mwanza has been granted a visa to travel to the United States to attend the Oscars and the Independent Spirit Awards this weekend, where War Witch is nominated, respectively, in the Best Foreign Language Film and Best International Film categories. And it's time for the American media pays as much attention to her as it did to Quvenzhané Wallis. more »
Nine films have advanced to the final round of pre-nominations in the Academy's Best Foreign Language category. Previously 71 films had qualified for consideration. This weekend's Sony Classics release, Amour, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival is among the films making the shortlist as well as Canada's War Witch, the Gael Garcia Bernal starter No (Chile), France's huge global box office hit A Royal Affair, Iceland's Baltasar Kormákur's The Deep and lauded Romanian director Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills.
Five nominees will emerge from this list via Academy members who will view the shortlist after the new year and then casting their ballots. The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT, and the Oscar ceremony will take place February 24th.
The Best Foreign-Language Oscar Shortlist for the 85th Academy Awards:
Austria, "Amour," Michael Haneke, director
Canada, "War Witch," Kim Nguyen, director
Chile, "No," Pablo Larraín, director
Denmark, "A Royal Affair," Nikolaj Arcel, director
France, "The Intouchables," Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors
Iceland, "The Deep," Baltasar Kormákur, director
Norway, "Kon-Tiki," Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors
Romania, "Beyond the Hills," Cristian Mungiu, director
Switzerland, "Sister," Ursula Meier, director
A moving and emotional powerhouse, Canadian director Kim Nguyen's War Witch packs a punch worthy of the best of conflict thrillers, though more shocking is that the events depicted in the feature, which is Canada's contender for Best Foreign-language Oscar consideration, are happening every day. The story of a teen girl who is kidnapped by Congo rebels after she is forced to execute her parents left audiences aghast at AFI Fest where it screened this week.
Kim Nguyen's War Witch cast a spell at the Tribeca Film Festival Thursday evening, winning the event's $25K Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, while Una Noche's Lucy Mulloy won $50K and the fest's Best New Narrative Director prize as well as other nods at a ceremony in Lower Manhattan. Also taking home prizes at the ceremony were The World Before Her by Canadian Nisha Pahuja, which took Best Documentary Feature while Dutch director Jeroen van Velzen's won Best New Documentary Director for Wavumba.
Movieline spotlighted filmmakers and trailers from the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival over the weekend and last week. The festival is still underway all this week, so it's certainly not too late to catch a little Tribeca action. If you're in New York and want to see some films at the festival (or if you are looking for a taste of Tribeca from afar), here is a sneak glimpse of more of this year's offerings from the festival's World Narrative Competition and World Documentary Competition.
Tuesday's spotlights include World Narrative Competition features Nancy, Please and War Witch as well as World Doc Competition contenders The Flat and The List. And in Tribeca's genre-centered Cinemania section is Rat King.