“The Japanese Dog” Romanian feature, eligible submission to Oscar 2015 awards

“The Japanese Dog”, Romanian director Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s debut movie, is eligible for the submission to the 2015 Oscar’s foreign film category, along with other movies from 82 countries, the American film academy informed. Romania submitted “The Japanese Dog” as its official Oscar selection for the foreign film category in August.

The movie tells the story of a farmer who is recovering from the death of his wife in a devastated flood. Having also lost his house, Costache spends his days trying to fix up his new home. The old man turns out to have a son who lives in Japan and whom he hasn’t told anything about his mother’s death. When the son finds out he rushes to his home village, accompanied by his Japanese wife and their 7-year-old son. What follows are a few days in which the lonely and grumpy Costache gets a bit closer to his son and finds happiness in his newfound family.

The feature opened at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2013 and it was awarded Warsow Festival prize dedicated to novice helmers. The feature also competed for the Gopos Awards in Romania, which are equivalent to the Oscars. However, the drama lost to last year’s Romania submission “Child’s Pose.”

Romania has been submitting to the Academy Awards ever since 1966. The country had two strong chances in the past 10 years. In 2007, Romania submitted “4 Months 3 Weeks, 2 Days” after winning the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It was considered an early Oscar favorite, but it failed to make it to the top nine shortlist. In 2012 “Beyond the Hills,” which premiered at Cannes, made it to the top ten shortlist, but it failed to receive the nomination.

Nine finalists from among the dozens of entries will be shortlisted in mid-January, with the final five nominees to be announced in January 2015.

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