July 11, 2006

Oscar invites 83 countries to submit movies

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar organizers on Tuesday said
they invited 83 countries to submit movies for foreign-language
film nominations for the movie industry's top honors, including
first-timers Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan.

For filmmakers outside the United States, an Oscar from the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can give their work
global recognition and help boost ticket sales, making
nominations tremendously important.

The Beverly Hills-based Academy established a
foreign-language film category in 1956, and since then 102
different countries have participated in the nomination

The first Oscar for a foreign film went to Italian movie
"La Strada," and the winner at this year's Oscars was South
Africa's "Tsotsi," about a young gang member in a tough
Johannesburg township.

In June this year, the Academy changed the rules for the
nomination process to broaden the group of its members who vote
on the films and to include a more diverse set of movies.