#HIFF2013: Focus on Foreign Language Film Oscar Submissions

A list of the 76 films submitted for the Best Foreign Language Film 2014 Oscar race has been released, and six #HIFF2013 films make the cut! Be among the first to see these international stars:

The Past (Iran)

Family secrets and domestic strife lurk under the surface of this riveting new drama from Asghar Farhadi, the writer/director of A Separation, the 2011 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film. Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) travels from Iran to France at the behest of his estranged wife Marie (Bérénice Bejo, The Artist) to finalize their divorce. Further escalating their immediate tension, Marie insists Ahmad stay in her home with live-in boyfriend Samir (Tahar Rahim, A Prophet), and Samir’s children from his own stalled marriage. With this latest film, Farhadi cements his status as one of the world’s preeminent filmmakers.

The Rocket (Australia)

When his mother passes away during his family’s forced exile from their village, young Ahlo is branded as a bearer of bad luck by his father and grandmother. Traveling the picturesque countryside with orphan Kia and her uncle Purple (an alcoholic ex-soldier with a James Brown obsession), Ahlo and this destitute group of misfits might be able to afford a new home if they win an annual rocket-building competition in a distant town… but first they must get rid of their self-doubts. This spirited drama was the Audience Award winner for Best Narrative Film at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)

When Didier and Elise meet, they instinctually know they have both found their match. While his true love was once was reserved only for American bluegrass music, this fiery tattoo artist plucks away all semblance of the brutish bachelor he once was. They bond over music and culture, and dive headfirst into a sweeping romance that plays out on and off stage. When an unexpected tragedy hits, everything they know and love is tested. An intensely moving portrait of a relationship from beginning to end, The Broken Circle Breakdown has been hailed by audiences internationally as a must-see film.

In Bloom (Georgia)

Early Nineties, in Tbilisi, the capital of the newly independent Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The country is facing violence, war on the Black Sea coast, and vigilante justice plaguing their society. But for Eka and Natia, 14-year-old, inseparable friends in bloom, life simply unfolds around them in the streets and at school. It rolls about as friends or elder sisters deal with the brutish dominance of the men, early marriage, and disillusioned love. With two startling lead performances by its young actresses, In Bloom is an evocative slice-of-life drama with the capacity to shock.

Mother, I Love You (Latvia)

Twelve-year old Raimonds lives with his single mom and does what he can to make her proud, like playing the saxophone in the school band. But his mischievous side lands him in trouble at school. He decides to hide a school note from his mom. The lies escalate from there. He runs away from home with the help of his friend Peteris, who gives him the keys to an unoccupied apartment, an act that has unforeseen consequences. Janis Nords’ second film is a soulful story of friendship and truth set against the cool hues and the nightlights of Riga, and featuring a 400 Blows-esque performance by newcomer Kristofers Konovalovs.

The Notebook (Hungary)
This stunningly shot tale follows the adventures of 13-year-old twin brothers whose mother shepherds them to the Hungarian countryside towards the end of World War II. Once pampered, they must discipline themselves to be tough and emotionless to survive. They write everything down in a notebook, keeping a record of all they have witnessed during the war and following their own strict code: prose free from emotion, notes precise and objective. Yet over time they are initiated into the horrors of a war‐torn world, and, after brief post-war visits from each parent, must face their own ultimate separation.