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Oscars: Czech Republic & Iceland Unveil Best International Feature Film Entries

With than less than three weeks left for countries to submit their candidates for the Best International Feature Film category of the 2024 Academy Awards, announcements are falling thick and fast.

Czech Republic and Iceland both unveiled their candidates on Tuesday.

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The Czech Republic has submitted Tomáš Mašín’s drama Brothers, about five teenage boys who attempt to flee communist Czechoslovakia in 1953 with the aim of joining the U.S. Army in West Berlin.

The film follows their exploits as they cross the heavily guarded border into the East Germany, triggering an extensive hunt. Two members of the group are caught and later executed. The remaining three boys, the Mašín brothers and their injured friend Milan Paumer, make it to West Berlin, but not without consequences for their families.

Mašín, whose previous feature credits include 3 Seasons In Hell, Wilson City and Exhale, spent more than eight years working on the film. The film is inspired by the story of distant relatives.

The film is a coproduction between Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, led by Petr Bílek at Prague-based FilmBrigade, in coproduction with Czech Television, PubRes and Rohfilm. The Yellow Affair handles international sales.

Iceland also announced on Tuesday that it was entering Hlynur Pálmason’s 19th Century drama Godland about a young Danish priest, who travels to Iceland with a mission: to establish a church and to document the lives of the island’s inhabitants.

The film premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard and also played at Telluride and Toronto.

Janus Films acquired the North American rights for a theatrical release, followed by a Criterion Channel streaming premiere. The film is produced by Katrin Pors, Anton Máni Svansson, Eva Jakobsen and Mikkel Jersin.

Further submissions announced in recent days include Michael A. Goorjian’s comedy-drama Amerikatsi for Amenia, Yassin Al Daradji’s Baghdad-set, coming-of-age tale Hanging Gardens for Iraq and Marija Kavtaradze’s Slow for Lithuania.

The latter relationship drama exploring asexuality and intimacy world premiered in Sundance’s World Dramatic Competition earlier this year.

The deadline for submission to the Best International Feature Film category is October 2. A long list will be unveiled on December 21, followed by a final nominee list of January 23, ahead of the ceremony on March 10, 2024.

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