Since its inception in 1956, films from the New East have enjoyed considerable success in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards entry for, with previous years seeing Poland’s Ida winning in 2015 and Hungary’s Son of Saul taking first prize in 2016.
From the longlist that comprises 50 countries or so, nine finalists will be shortlisted in late 2017, with five nominees announced in early 2018. In the meantime, here’s a roundup of who has submitted what from the New East.
Quit Staring at My Plate (Croatia)
Director: Hana Jušić
A 24-year-old woman adjusts to her newfound freedom and the responsibility of supporting her mother and mentally disabled older brother after her domineering father has a stroke.
Director: Rainer Sarnet
In a 19th-century Estonia inhabited by spirits, werewolves and the devil himself, a peasant girl longs for a village boy.
Men Don’t Cry (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Director: Alen Drljević
A group of disparate, middle-aged Yugoslav War veterans talk in an extended group-therapy session.
The Chronicles of Melanie (Latvia)
Director: Viestur Kairish
Melānija and her son are forcefully moved from their home in Latvia to a slave camp in Siberia as part of the June deportation in 1941. For the next 16 years, she retains her will to live by writing letters to her husband, whose destiny she knows nothing about.
Director: Šarūnas Bartas
A young Lithuanian drives with his girlfriend Inga to the Donbass region of Ukraine where they encounter the violent consequences of war.
Scary Mother (Georgia)
Director: Ana Urushadze
Manana, a 50-year-old housewife has to choose between living a traditional family life and pursuing a suppressed passion for writing.
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
Director: Ildikó Enyedi
Endre and Mária work together in a slaughterhouse and after an investigation led by a psychologist, discover that they have the same dream every night.
Pomegranate Orchard (Azerbaijan)
Director: Ilgar Najaf
Inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, the film follows a prodigal son who returns home after 12 years.
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Set in a remote mountainous region of the Kłodzko Valley in south-western Poland, an elderly woman, Janina Duszejko, turns witness to a violent and mysterious death of several hunters. She is convinced she knows who the murderer is, but nobody believes her story.
The Fixer (Romania)
Director: Adrian Sitaru
A young reporter pursues the story of an underage prostitute in Bucharest. Though first driven by his ambition, he begins to question the moral boundaries of journalism.
Requiem for Mrs. J (Serbia)
Director: Bojan Vuletić
A widow plans to kill herself on the anniversary of her husband’s death, but first seeks to tie up some absurd loose ends.
Black Level (Ukraine)
Director: Valentyn Vasyanovych
Kostya, a 50-year-old wedding photographer, experiences a midlife crisis after his father is paralysed by a stroke and his girlfriend leaves him.