The Hollywood Reporter names Georgian films as Oscar hopefuls

Screenshot from Zaza Urushadze's "Tangerines"., 17 Dec 2014 - 20:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Hollywood Reporter film critics have selected 14 films from 83 entries, including two Georgian films in the running for the coveted The Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards.

Selectors are currently analysing the record 83 entries and on January 15, competition officials will announce the shortlist of five films that will go on to compete against each other in the foreign language section of the prestigious awards.

Film and theatre critic for The Hollywood Reporter Stephen Dalton reviewed Georgian film Corn Island (Simindis kundzuli) as his film of choice. The Georgian-German co-production, directed by Georgian Giorgi Ovashvili, was released in 2014 and this year the film has won numerous awards at European film festivals.

"A master class in emotionally charged minimalism, Corn Island takes place on the fareastern fringes of modern Europe, but much of its texture seems rooted in a timeless hinterland of folklore,” writes Dalton.

Georgian film director Giorgi Ovashvili poses with the Grand Prix Crystal Globe Award for best film, ''Corn Island,'' during the closing ceremony of the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

[Winning] the top prize winner at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, this virtually wordless, artfully austere drama about survival in Georgia after the collapse of communism contains echoes of old masters like Bresson and Tarkovsky, Kaneto Shindo and Terrence Malick, with a hint of Shakespeare's storm-tossed island parable The Tempest, too.”

Meanwhile Tangerines (Mandarinebi), an Estonia-Georgia co-production was also mentioned on The Hollywood Reporter film critics list.

The film, directed by Georgia’s Zaza Urushadze, was recently selected as one of five films to complete in the best foreign language film section in the upcoming Golden Globe awards.

Tangerines by ZazaUrushadze won 19 International awards, including top prizes at the Warsaw International Film Festival 2013, the Seattle International Film Festival 2014 and the BIFEST - Bari International Film Festival 2014.

In the December issue, The Hollywood Reporter critic Stephen Farber writes: "Although the subject of civil war within the former Soviet countries has been tackled in other movies, this retelling of the 1992 conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia is one of the most concise and affecting. Featuring a stellar performance by veteran Lembit Ulfsak, the film works because it focuses on just a few characters and yet crystallizes the entire tragic history of the region with aplomb.”

A record 83 countries have submitted titles for the 2015 Oscars in the foreign language film section – seven more than 2014's previous record number.

The nominations for the 2015 Academy Awards will be announced on January 15, while the ceremony itself will take place on February 22.