United Nations of Cinema: 88 Countries Submit Entries for International Feature Oscar

The submissions for this year’s Oscar for best international feature include some of the best of world cinema. Below is a rundown of the entries for the 96th Academy Awards. The 15-title shortlist is slated to arrive on Dec. 21, prior to the nominations announcement on Jan. 23 and the ceremony itself, which is dated for March 10.

Director: Ardit Sadiku
Logline: A documentary about an engineer who, after being fired by the navy for dissidence, hijacked a warship to get himself an dhis family to freedom.
Prodco: Ardit Sadiku Film

The Delinquents
Director: Rodrigo Moreno
Logline: A ticklish, gently surreal saga following two colleagues who collude in robbing the bank where they work.
U.S. distribution: Mubi

Director: Michael A. Goorjian
Logline: An Armenian-American relocates to Armenia after WWII and ends up in a Soviet prison for the crime of wearing a tie.
U.S. distribution: Variance Films

Director: Noora Niasari
Logline: A Sundance Audience Award-winning drama following an Iranian immigrant struggling to raise her daughter in a women’s shelter. 
U.S. distribution: Sony Pictures Classics

Director: Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel
Logline: Vera Gemma, the daughter of an Italian icon, strikes up an intense relationship with a poor kid she injures in a traffic accident.
Int’l sales: Be For Films

No Ground Beneath the Feet
Director: Mohammad Rabby Mridha
Logline: Ambulance driver Saiful pivots between his two wives and a brother who all need help he can’t afford to give. 
Int’l sales: Impress Telefilm

Director: Baloji
Logline: A Congolese man returns to Kinshasa with his pregnant white wife to pay a dowry to the family who regard him as cursed.
U.S. distribution: Utopia

The Monk and the Gun
Director: Pawo Choyning Dorji
Logline: An American encounters a Bhutanese monk who has a valuable rifle in the second film from the Oscar-nominated “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” filmmaker.
Int’l sales: UTA 

The Visitor
Director: Martín Boulocq
Logline: A wake singer recently released from jail fights his Evangelical pastor father-in-law for custody of his daughter. 
Prodco: CQ Films

Director: Una Gunjak
Logline: A high schooler gets caught in her own spiralling lie which has consequences for her and her whole class. 
Int’l sales: Salaud Morisset

Pictures of Ghosts
Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Logline: A wry, wistful documentary, featuring the filmmaker’s personal archival footage, tracing his relationship with the disappeared cinemas of Recife.
Int’l sales: Urban Sales

Director: Apolline Traoré
Logline: A revenge tale in which a young nomad in North Africa fights for survival after she is kidnapped by Islamist terrorists.
Int’l sales: Wide

Blaga’s Lessons
Director: Zaynê Akyol
Logline: A 70-year-old widow, conned out of her life savings by a phone scam, turns scammer herself to even the score.
Int’l sales: Heretic

Director: Zaynê Akyol
Logline: Imprisoned former member of the Islamic State provide powerful testimony about their experiences of conflict in Syrian Kurdistan.
U.S. distribution: Icarus Films

The Settlers
Director: Felipe Gálvez Haberle
Logline: An Indigenous guide rides south with an English captain and an American mercenary to fence off land granted to a ruthless Spanish landowner.
U.S. distribution: Mubi

A Male
Director: Fabián Hernández Alvarado 
Logline: A young man living in a youth shelter braves the urban culture of machismo to spend Christmas with his mother and sister.
Int’l sales: Cercamon

I Have Electric Dreams
Director: Valentina Maurel
Logline: 16-year-old Eva lives with her mother, younger sister and cat, but longs to move in with her estranged father.
Int’l sales: Heretic

Director: Dubravka Turic
Logline: An anthropologist experiences an identity crisis after her father’s death leaves her the last surviving member of her family.
Prodco: Kinorama

Director: Tomáš Mašín
Logline: The true story of two brothers who tried to escape communist Czechoslovakia in 1953 to join the US army in West Berlin.
Int’l sales: The Yellow Affair

The Promised Land
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Logline: Mads Mikkelsen stars in a rousing historical epic about a land battle between a commoner and a noble. 
U.S. distribution: Magnolia Pictures

Voy! Voy! Voy!
Director: Omar Hilal
Logline: An impoverished security guard poses as blind in order to play at the Blind Soccer World Championships in Europe. 
Int’l sales: Vox Studios

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood
Director: Anna Hints
Logline: A lyrical documentary observing the women who frequent a traditional Estonian sauna for healing and community.
Int’l sales: Autlook

Fallen Leaves
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Logline: A droll romance develops between a struggling part-time worker and an alcoholic builder.
U.S. distribution: Mubi

The Taste of Things
Director: Trần Anh Hùng
Logline: Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel illuminate a lavish 19th-century “gastromance” between a cook and her gourmet employer.
U.S. distribution: IFC Distribution

Citizen Saint
Director: Tinatin Kajrishvili
Logline: When a revered statue of a local saint disappears it spurs a crisis of faith in a Georgian mining community.
Int’l sales: Studio Artizm

The Teachers’ Lounge
Director: İlker Çatak
Logline: An idealistic high school teacher faces spiraling consequences when one of her students is accused of stealing.
U.S. distribution: Sony Pictures Classics

Behind the Haystacks
Director: Asimina Proedrou
Logline: A local family living on Greece’s northern border face difficult personal choices in the wake of a tragic incident.
Int’l sales: TVCO

A Light Never Goes Out
Director: Anastasia Tsang
Logline: The devastated wife of a master neon signmmaker takes up his passion as her own following his death.
Int’l sales: Edko Films

Four Souls of Coyote
Director: Áron Gauder
Logline: An animation following a band of Native American teenagers who confront an oil pipeline project  while will affect their ancestral land.
Int’l sales: NFI World Sales

Director: Hlynur Pálmason
Logline: A 19th-century Danish priest is sent to Iceland to establish a new parish but finds his faith challenged by the hardships of rural life. 
U.S. distribution: Janus Films

Director: Jude Anthany Joseph
Logline: A disaster film set during the 2018 Kerala floods in which people from all walks of life collectively try to survive the ensuing chaos.
International sales: Sony LIV

Director: Makbul Mubarak
Logline: The callow young assistant and housekeeper to a retired general running for local election learns firsthand about Indonesian corruption.
U.S. distribution: Amazon Prime Video

The Night Guardian
Director: Reza Mirkarimi
Logline: A naive village boy’s quiet life is challenged when he encounters the engineer of a construction project.
Int’l sales: Banoo Film

Hanging Gardens
Director: Ahmed Yassin Aldaradji
Logline: A young Iraqi’s life is upended when he rescues a sex doll from the Baghdad rubbish dumps where he works. 
Int’l sales: True Colours

In the Shadow of Beirut
Director: Stephen Gerard Kelly, Garry Keane
Logline: Modern-day Lebanon as seen through the eyes of four families living in the impoverished neighborhoods where aninfamous 1982 massacre occurred.
Prodco: Abbout Prods.

Seven Blessings
Director: Ayelet Menahemi
Logline: In early ’90s Jerusalem a boisterous Jewish-Moroccan family celebrate their togetherness while also hiding painful secrets. 
Prodco: Ronen Ben-Tal Films

Io Capitano
Director: Matteo Garrone
Logline: Two young men embark on an epic odyssey from Dakar to Europe in a Venice Best Director-winning migrant drama.
Int’l sales: Pathé

Perfect Days
Director: Wim Wenders
Logline: A contented Tokyo restroom cleaner with a simple, structured everyday life has a series of unexpected encounters.
U.S. distribution: Neon

Inshallah a Boy
Director: Amjad Al Rasheed
Logline: The walls of Jordanian patriarchy close in quickly on the recently widowed mother of a small daughter.
U.S. distribution: Greenwich Entertainment

Director: Daudi Anguka
Logline: A woman embarks on a crusade against an organ-trafficking ring operating in her small coastal town mear Mombasa.
Prodco: AR Films Prod.

This is What I Remember
Director: Aktan Arym Kubat
Logline: A man who lost his memory while working in Russia and returns to Kyrgyzstan for the first time in 20 years.
Int’l sales: Diversion

My Freedom
Director: Ilze Kunga-Melgaile
Logline: A free-thinking and charismatic activist becomes a star of the Latvian National Awakening, which brings tough choices in her private life.
Prodco: Tasse Films, M-Films

Director: Marija Kavtaradzė
Logline: A dancer and a sign-language interpreter build their own kind of intimacy pursuing an unconventional relationship. 
Int’l sales: Totem Films

The Last Ashes
Director: Loïc Tanson
Logline: Hélène returns to her native village under a new identity on a mission of revenge against the powerful local Graff family.
Prodco: Artémis Prods., Samsa Films

Tiger Stripes
Director: Amanda Nell Eu
Logline: A carefree 11-year-old girl suddenly starts to experience horrifying physical changes to her body.
Int’l sales: Films Boutique

Director: Lila Avilés
Logline: On the birthday of her dying father, 7-year-old Sol observes the relationships between his bickering, loving, boisterous family.
U.S. distribution: Sideshow, Janus Films

Director: Ioane Bobeica
Logline: Rich-kid Victor and poor-girl Zinca form a forbidden friendship in the literal minefield of their village on the Transnistrian border.
Prodco: YOUBESC Film

City of Wind
Director: Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir
Logline: A teenage shaman and a girl with a heart condition form a tentative connection in wintry Ulaanbaatar.
Int’l sales: Best Friend Forever

Director: Senad Šahmanović
Logline: An American lawyer who changed her identity when she left the former Yugoslavia returns to her native Montenegro for an unusual inheritance case.
Prodco: Cut-Up

The Mother of All Lies
Director: Asmae El Moudir
Logline: A documentary exploring memory and willful forgetfulness with respect to the  director’s fraught family history and that of her nation.
Prodco: Insight Films

Under the Hanging Tree
Director: Perivi Katjavivi
Logline: A supernatural noir about an impetuous city cop assigned to a morbid case in a small desert town in Namibia.
Prodco: Old Location Films

Director: Bikram Sapkota
Logline: An unemployed drunkard takes a job as a postman which brings him to remote villages and makes him confront his demons. 
Prodco: Icefall Prods.

Sweet Dreams
Director: Ena Sendijarević
Logline: The white owner of a Dutch East Indies sugar plantation leaves his estate to his illegitimate son by his Indonesian housemaid.
Int’l sales: Heretic

Mami Wata
Director: CJ Obasi
Logline: A remote West African village community worships the Mermaid-deity Mami Wata and is guided by healer Mama Efe, her daughter Zinwe and protégé Prisca.
U.S. distribution: Dekanalog

Housekeeping For Beginners
Director: Goran Stolevski
Logline: A lively, rowdy family drama following the domestic, romantic and generational conflicts in a crowded queer household.
U.S. distribution: Focus Features

Songs of Earth
Director: Margreth Olin
Logline: The director traces her octogenarian father’s connection to nature in his mountain home nestled amid Norway’s spectacular landscapes.
Int’l sales: Cinephil

In Flames
Director: Zarrar Kahn
Logline: After the death of the family patriarch, a mother and daughter’s existence is ripped apart by figures from their past.
Int’l sales: XYZ Films

Bye Bye Tiberias
Director: Lina Soualem
Logline: A doc following the director’s mother, Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas, as she and her daughter return to her native village.
Int’l sales: Lightdox

Tito, Margot & Me
Director: Mercedes Arias, Delfina Vidal 
Logline: A biodoc tracing the politicized love affair between high-profile Panamian politico Tito Arias and ballerina Margot Fonteyn.
Prodco: Betesda Films

The Last Runway 2, Commando Yaguarete
Director: Armando Aquino, Mauricio Rial
Logline: An investigator with the Ministry of the Interior goes to extreme lengths to rescue a kidnapped colleage in the action sequel to 2018’s “The Last Runway.”
Prodco: Hei Films

The Erection of Toribio Bardelli 
Director: Adrián Saba
Logline: The patriarch of a dysfunctional family faces his 70th birthday with one wish: to have an erection again. 
Prodco: Flamingo Films

The Missing
Director: Carl Joseph Papa
Logline: Animated sci-fi in which an Filipino animator without a mouth goes to find his missing uncle and finds instead a strangely familiar alien.
Prodco: Project8 Projects

The Peasants
Director: DK Welchman, Hugh Welchman 
Logline: A beautiful peasant girl’s romances cause havoc in her village in a hand-painted animation from the “Loving Vincent” team. 
U.S. distribution: Sony Pictures Classics

Bad Living
Director: João Canijo
Logline: Three generations of women run a failing Portuguese hotel and take out their increasing bitterness on each other.
Int’l sales: The Match Factory

Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World
Director: Radu Jude
Logline: A wild, unruly satire following an overworked, underpaid production assistant as she interviews candidates for a workplace safety video.
U.S. distribution: Mubi

Banel and Adama
Director: Ramata-Toulaye Sy
Logline: A young couple in love want to leave their village responsibilities behind but magic, superstition and dark secrets will not make it easy. 
Int’l sales: Best Friend Forever

Because My Thoughts are Struggling
Director: Milorad Milinković
Logline: Prince Mihailo struggles with a sense of duty to his people while a fatal conspiracy is being hatched against him. 
Prodco: Living Pictures

The Breaking Ice
Director: Anthony Chen
Logline: In a freezing China’s frozen Northeast, three young people navigate a gentle thawing love triangle. 
Int’l sales: Rediance

Director: Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavol Pekarčík
Logline: A docudrama tracing a day in the life of a Kharkiv family sheltering in subway tunnels from the Russian attacks.
Prodco: Punkchart Films

Director: Dominik Mencej
Logline: Inspired by “Easy Rider,” two friends embark on a road trip through recently post-Yugoslav Slovenia and Croatia on their mopeds. 
Int’l sales: Staragara

Music is My Life
Director: Mpumi Supa Mbele
Logline: A biodoc of the late Joseph Shabalala, who attained worldwide fame contributing to Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album with his band, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Int’l sales: Pop Twist Entertainment

Concrete Utopia
Director: Um Tae-hwa
Logline: In the aftermath of a devastating Seoul earthquake, survivors hole up in a luxury apartment block to weather the aftermath. 
Int’l sales: Lotte Entertainment

Society of the Snow
Director: J.A. Bayona
Logline: The true story of the 1972 Andes plane crash and the 16 survivors who made it through  the 72 days untuil their rescue. 
U.S. distribution: Netflix

Goodbye Julia
Director: Mohamed Kordofani
Logline: Two women are fatefully connected despite coming from opposing sides of every social divide in pre-secession Khartoum.
Int’l sales: MAD Solutions

Director: Milad Alami
Logline: An Iranian refugee tries out for the Swedish national wrestling team in order to speed up his family’s asylum applications.
Int’l sales: TriArt Film

Director: Carmen Jaquier
Logline: A young novitiate discovers faith and desire can be linked  when she returns to her village following the mysterious death of her sister.
Int’l sales: WTFilms

Marry My Dead Body
Director: Cheng Wei-hao
Logline: Supernatural comedy ensues when a straight cop is forced into a marriage with the ghost of a gay man.
U.S. distribution: Netflix

Director: Behrouz Sebt Rasoul 
Logline: A music teacher in a children’s cancer center searches for 30 birds, to use their songs as the basis for a composition. 
Int’l sales: Dreamlab Films

Not Friends
Director: Atta Hemwadee
Logline: A high schooler cynically decides to make a short film about a deceased classmate for his colllege application. 
Int’l sales: GDH 559

Four Daughters
Director: Kaouther Ben Hania
Logline: The family void left by two teenage girls who joined ISIS is explored in a metafictional hybrid doc.
U.S. distribution: Kino Lorber

About Dry Grasses
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Logline: A misanthropic schoolteacher posted to remote Anatolia is accused of innappropriate behavior by a favored student. 
U.S. distribution: Sideshow, Janus Films

20 Days in Mariupol
Director: Mstyslav Chernov
Logline: Documentary following a team of trapped Ukrainian journalists covering the war from withing the besieged city of Mariupol.
U.S. distribution: PBS Distribution

The Zone of Interest
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Logline: Next door to Auschwitz, the family of camp commandant Rudolf Höss go about their daily domestic routine. 
U.S. distribution: A24

Family Album
Director: Guillermo Rocamora
Logline: A teenager and his father set up a band to realize Dad’s lifelong ambition but soon generational tastes and tensions make it unsustainable.
Prodco: Cimarrón Cine

The Shadow of the Sun
Director: Miguel Ángel Ferrer
Logline: A young deaf man enlists his estranged elder brother in  fulfilling his dream of entering a singing competition. 
Prodco: Magic Films, Multi Studios

Glorious Ashes 
Director: Bùi Thạc Chuyên
Logline: The lives of three women in a small Mekong Delta village intertwine as they deal with their difficult menfolk.
Int’l sales: Skyline Media

The Burdened
Director: Amr Gamal
Logline: When a struggling couple in Aden find they are pregnant again, they make a decision drastically at odds with Yemeni social norms.
Int’l sales: Films Boutique

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