List of submissions to the 75th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
The following 54 films, all from different countries, were submitted for the 75th Academy Awards in the category Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (release at the country of origin November 1, 2001 – October 31, 2002, ceremony March 2003). The bolded titles were the five nominated films.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Chad submitted films for the first time.
The announcement of the submitted films was delayed when the Academy was presented with four films that did not quite conform to the rules, as written:
- Hong Kong elected to send an action film (The Touch) that was completely in English.
- Afghanistan, which had been liberated from Taliban rule only a year before, submitted their first-ever film for consideration. The movie, about Afghan-Americans, was filmed mostly in English, but partially in Dari. When the film was shown in Afghanistan, it was entirely dubbed into Dari and it was this version that was sent to the Oscars.
- The United Kingdom sent The Warrior, a British-produced film set in India, spoken entirely in Hindi, and filmed by Asif Kapadia, a British director of Indian descent.
- Most controversially, Palestine tried to submit Divine Intervention, forcing the apolitical Academy to make a decision about whether it would accept Palestine as a country.
The film from Hong Kong was quickly eliminated, but the film from Afghanistan (whose director had been brutally murdered before post-production was finished) was accepted, probably as much for symbolic reasons as anything else.
The United Kingdom was asked to submit another film since AMPAS rules stated that all films had to be in a language indigenous to the submitting country. "The Warrior" was not acceptable, AMPAS argued, because Hindi was not a language indigenous to the United Kingdom, and the film was not about, nor set among British people. Had the film been set among the Hindi-speaking community in the UK, it would have been approved. BAFTA appealed to the Academy to reconsider, but to no avail. Ironically, the film won Best British Film at the BAFTA awards the following year. Britain ended up choosing Eldra, a film in Welsh. In 2006, AMPAS changed the rules to allow countries to choose films which were not in the language of the submitting country. Canada was the first to take advantage of this new rule by submitting Water, which was also in Hindi.
AMPAS determined that Palestine was not a country, and therefore could not submit a film. They also said that there had been no "national selection committee" that chose Divine Intervention, as required by the rules. It was also unclear how the film would be released in its home country according to the rules, since Palestine had no internationally recognized boundaries. This decision was much criticized, especially since countries like Taiwan, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong, none of which recognized as sovereign nations by the United Nations, had been submitting movies for years. AMPAS reversed its decision the following year, and allowed Divine Intervention to compete.
The previous year's winner Bosnia & Herzegovina did not submit a film. The Islamic world was better represented in this category than any previous year on record, with ten films in competition, not including Divine Intervention.
The Brazilian submission, City of God was considered as one of the favorites, but it did not receive a nomination in the Best Foreign Film category. When the film was released the following year in the USA, it garnered nominations in four mainstream categories including Best Screenplay and Best Director. Ironically, if the film had been nominated in the Best Foreign Film category, it would have been ineligible for all the mainstream awards the following year because you cannot receive Oscar nominations in two different ceremonies.
|Country||Film title used in nomination||Original title||Language||Director|
|Afghanistan||FireDancer||FireDancer||Pashto, English||Jawed Wassel|
|Algeria||Rachida||Rachida||French, Arabic||Yamina Bachir-Chouikh|
|Austria||Gebürtig||Gebürtig||German||Robert Schindel and Lukas Stepanik|
|Bangladesh||The Clay Bird||মাটির ময়না||Bengali||Tareque Masud|
|Belgium||The Son||Le Fils||French||Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne|
|Brazil||City of God||Cidade de Deus||Portuguese||Fernando Meirelles|
|Bulgaria||Warming Up Yesterday's Lunch||Подгряване на вчерашния обед||Bulgarian||Kostadin Bonev|
|Canada||Un crabe dans la tête||Un crabe dans la tête||French||André Turpin|
|Chad||Abouna||Abouna||Chadian Arabic, French||Mahamat Saleh Haroun|
|Chile||Ogú y Mampato en Rapa Nui||Ogú y Mampato en Rapa Nui||Spanish||Alejandro Rojas|
|China||Hero||英雄||Mandarin Chinese||Zhang Yimou|
|Colombia||The Invisible Children||Los Niños invisibles||Spanish||Lisandro Duque Naranjo|
|Croatia||Fine Dead Girls||Fine mrtve djevojke||Croatian||Dalibor Matanić|
|Cuba||Nothing More||Nada||Spanish||Juan Carlos Cremata|
|Czech Republic||Wild Bees||Divoké vcely||Czech||Bohdan Sláma|
|Denmark||Open Hearts||Elsker dig for evigt||Danish||Susanne Bier|
|Egypt||The Secret of the Young Girl||أسرار البنات||Arabic||Magdy Ahmed Aly|
|Finland||The Man Without a Past||Mies vailla menneisyyttä||Finnish||Aki Kaurismaki|
|France||8 Femmes||8 femmes||French||François Ozon|
|Germany||Nowhere in Africa (winner)||Nirgendwo in Afrika||German, Swahili||Caroline Link|
|Greece||The Only Journey of His Life||Το μόνον της ζωής του ταξείδιον||Greek||Lakis Papastathis|
|Hong Kong||The Touch||天脈傳奇||English||Peter Pau|
|Iceland||The Sea||Hafið||Icelandic||Baltasar Kormákur|
|India||Devdas (2002 Hindi film)||देवदास||Hindi||Sanjay Leela Bhansail|
|Iran||I'm Taraneh, 15||من ترانه 15 سال دارم||Persian||Rasul Sadrameli|
|Israel||Broken Wings||כנפיים שבורות||Hebrew||Nir Bergman|
|South Korea||Oasis||오아시스||Korean||Lee Chang-dong|
|Lebanon||When Maryam Spoke Out||لمّا حكيت مريم||Arabic||mAssad Fouladkar|
|Luxembourg||Petites misères||Petites misères||French||Laurent Brandenburger & Philippe Boon|
|Mexico||The Crime of Padre Amaro||El crimen del Padre Amaro||Spanish||Carlos Carrera|
|Netherlands||Zus & Zo||Zus & Zo||Dutch||Paula van der Oest|
|Norway||Hold My Heart||Tyven, tyven||Norwegian||Trygve Allister Diesen|
|Philippines||Small Voices||Mga Munting tinig||Tagalog||Gil M. Portes|
|Portugal||O Delfim||O Delfim||Portuguese||Fernando Lopes|
|Russia||House of Fools||Дом дураков||Russian, Chechen||Andrei Konchalovsky|
|Slovakia||Cruel Joys||Kruté radosti||Slovak||Juraj Nvota|
|Slovenia||Headnoise||Zvenenje v glavi||Slovene||Andrej Košak|
|Spain||Mondays in the Sun||Los lunes al sol||Spanish||Fernando Leon de Aranoa|
|Sweden||Lilja 4-ever||Lilja 4-ever||Swedish, Russian||Lukas Moodysson|
|Switzerland||Aime ton père||Aime ton père||French||Jacob Berger|
|Taiwan||The Best of Times||美麗時光||Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese, Hakka||Chang Tso-chi|
|Thailand||Monrak Transistor||มนต์รักทรานซิสเตอร์||Thai||Pen-ek Ratanaruang|
|Tunisia||The Magic Box||La Boîte magique||French, Arabic||Rida Behi|
|United Kingdom||Eldra||Eldra||Welsh||Tim Lyn|
|Uruguay||Corazon de Fuego||El Último tren||Spanish||Diego Arsuaga|
|Venezuela||The Archangel's Feather||La Pluma del arcángel||Spanish||Luis Manzo|
- the film was disqualified because the dialogue was completely in English, and not in a Foreign Language
- The United Kingdom originally selected The Warrior, which was not accepted by the Academy
"Record-Breaking 54 Countries in Competition for Oscar" (Press release). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2002-12-02. Retrieved 2008-08-22.