A Greek film known locally as “Mikra Agglia” or Little England is the official submission on behalf of the country, for the 87th Academy Awards, scheduled to take place on February 22nd at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
The Greek period drama, shot entirely on location on the island of Andros, has won numerous international prizes— including three top awards at the Shanghai International Film Festival where it won best film, best director and best actress.
The film also won six awards at the Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Directed by Pantelis Voulgaris, the film stars newcomers Penelope Tsilika and Sofia Kokkali as two sisters in love with the same man, a young merchant marine captain.
On Jan 15 2015, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will announce which five films have been nominated from all of the international entries to go forward in the final line-up to compete for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Submissions for the Best Foreign-Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards are still coming in and will continue until October, when the full list of eligible submissions will be revealed.
The award is handed out annually by the AMPAS to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue. It was created for the 1956 Academy Awards, in which a competitive Academy Award of Merit, known as the Best Foreign Language Film Award, was created for non-English speaking films, and has been given annually since.
Last year, a record 76 countries submitted features and the eventual winner was Italian entry The Great Beauty, directed by Paolo Sorrentino.
For the 78th Academy Awards, Greece selected “Nyfes,” also directed by Voulgaris, but it was ruled ineligible for being in English.
In the 1990s, Greek film law stipulated that the winner of the Greek Film Competition at the Thessaloniki Film Festival would represent Greece at the Oscars the following year. After Greek films that were mostly in English (and thus ineligible for the Foreign Language Film award) won the award in 2005 and 2007, Greece decided to revise the selection process. Beginning in 2008, the Greek submission is determined by an ad hoc committee appointed under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture. The first film to be selected under the new rules was “Correction”, since “El Greco” contained too much English to qualify.
Five Greek films went on to be officially nominated and contend for the Oscar. None won. The nominated films were Ilektra (Michael Cacoyannis, 1962), The Red Lanterns (Vasilis Georgiadis, 1963), Blood on the Land (Vasilis Georgiadis, 1965), Iphigenia (Michael Cacoyannis, 1977) and Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2010).
Nine finalists will be shortlisted, which will be whittled down to five nominees that will be announced on Jan 15. “Little England” will compete alongside dozens of other entries, the following of which have already been submitted:
Austria, The Dark Valley, Andreas Prochaska
Bulgaria, Bulgarian Rhapsody, Ivan Nitchev
Croatia, Cowboys, Tomislav Mršić
Dominican Republic, Cristo Rey, Leticia Tonos
Estonia, Tangerines, Zaza Urushadze
Finland, Concrete Night, Pirjo Honkasalo
Georgia, Corn Island, Giorgi Ovashvili
Germany, Beloved Sisters, Dominik Graf
Greece, Little England, Pantelis Voulgaris
Hungary, White God, Kornél Mundruczó
Japan, The Light Shines Only There, Mipo Oh
Luxembourg, Never Die Young, Pol Cruchten
Mauritania, Timbuktu, Abderrahmane Sissako
Nepal, Jhola, Yadavkumar Bhattarai
Netherlands, Accused, Paula van der Oest
Norway, 1001 Grams, Bent Hamer
Peru, The Gospel of the Flesh, Eduardo Mendoza de Echave
Poland, Ida, Paweł Pawlikowski
Romania, The Japanese Dog, Tudor Cristian Jurgiu
Serbia, See You in Montevideo, Dragan Bjelogrlić
Sweden, Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund
Taiwan, Ice Poison, Midi Z
Turkey, Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Venezuela, The Liberator, Alberto Arvelo