• 'Tanna', Australia's foreign-language movie submission to the 2017 Oscars (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
'Tanna' makes the foreign language shortlist.

16 Dec 2016 - 1:10 PM  UPDATED 16 Dec 2016 - 1:14 PM

Australia's entry in the foreign language Oscar category, Tanna, has advanced to the next round, with Bentley Dean and Martin Butler's South Pacific-set feature making the coveted final nine. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the shortlist of contenders for the foreign language Oscar category today, and Tanna has made the cut, along with Maron Ade's wry comedy Toni Erdmann, Asghar Farhadi's Iranian drama The Salesman, and Xavier Dolan's French-Canadian family drama It's Only The End of the World

The latter won the Cannes Grand Prix this year. Farhadi’s film won the best actor and screenplay trophies at Cannes.

The full list of contenders is:

Australia, “Tanna” — directors Bentley Dean, Martin Butler
Canada, “It’s Only the End of the World” — director Xavier Dolan
Denmark, “Land of Mine” — director Martin Zandvliet
Germany, “Toni Erdmann” — director Maren Ade
Iran, “The Salesman” — director Asghar Farhadi
Norway, “The King’s Choice” — director Erik Poppe
Russia, “Paradise” — director Andrei Konchalovsky
Sweden, “A Man Called Ove” — director Hannes Holm
Switzerland, “My Life as a Zucchini” — director Claude Barras

Notable exclusions included France’s Elle, directed by Paul Verhoven with Isabelle Huppert starring;  Spain’s Julieta, directed by Pedro Almodovar; Chile’s Neruda, directed by Pablo Larrain and starring Gael Garcia Bernal; and Italy’s refugee documentary Fire at Sea, directed by Gianfranco Rosi and winner of the Golden Bear at Berlin.

Australian film Tanna to tell Romeo and Juliet-like tale in Melanesia
“I think it’s going to be really groundbreaking," says the film’s co-writer John Collee, of Master and Commander fame.

Six of the nine films were selected by the Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences’ Phase I committee,  consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, after screening the submissions in between mid-October and December 12.  The group’s top six choices were augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee.

It's Only the End of the World review: Fractured family tale is a big step backwards (Cannes)
Intimate drama doesn't sync with showy director's style

The list will be cut to five nominees by specially invited committees in New York, Los Angeles and London during Jan. 13-15, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

'Land of Mine' review: WWII drama digs deep
No winners in story of vindictive victory.

Nominations for the 89th Oscars will be announced on Jan. 24. The ceremonies will be held on Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood (and broadcast in Australia on Feb 27).

Hungary’s Son of Saul won the Oscar in the category this year - and will screen on SBS in 2017.

With editing by Fiona Williams.

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