Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium’s official Oscar entry, is among the nine films competing in the Best Foreign Language Film category in the the shortlist announced today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.). On 16 January five of them will be officially nominated for the 86th Academy Awards.
The Broken Circle Breakdown was one of 76 entries for Best Foreign Language Film this year. Culled from that number by an exhaustive review process, nine films are now advancing to the next round of voting, van Groeningen’s bluegrass drama among them.
The next phase of the selection process requires that the current nine candidates be narrowed to five, to be announced on 16 January in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, 2 March 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center and televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
A box office success in Europe, The Broken Circle Breakdown has won a string of awards on the festival circuit, including the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival; the Best Actress Award for star Veerle Baetens and Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival; and nine Ensor awards in Belgium. Veerle Baetens also took home the best European actress trophy at the European Film Awards, beating, among others, Keira Knightley and Naomi Watts. Most recently, the film won the European Parliament's Lux Prize as the Best European Film and was named Best Foreign Language Film by the Washington DC Film Critics Association (WAFCA).
The film, distributed by Tribeca Film in the US, began its stateside release on 1 November and is currently playing in select theaters. Carl Joos and Felix van Groeningen scripted The Broken Circle Breakdown, based on a hit play by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels. Dirk Impens at Menuet produced the film and was able to count on the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.