CATEGORIES Drama, Foreign Language, Oscar Watch, Toronto International Film Festival, Cinematical Indie, Toronto Film Festival, Oscar News, CinematicalBecause Australians can't get enough of our Academy Awards, they are now after the one category we thought was safe from the grasp of an English-speaking country; they've submitted a film for consideration in Oscar's Best Foreign-language category. The picture is called Ten Canoes and is marked with being the first to be shot in an indigenous language. That language is Ganalbingu, which is spoken by the Yolngu people of Ramingining, located in the Northern Territory. Written and co-directed (with the aboriginal Peter Djigirr) by Rolf de Heer (Alexandra's Project), who is Dutch-born but Oz-raised, the film tells of a man who desires one of his brother's wives and is put right by his tribal elders. It has so far performed quite well in Australia and will get its North American premiere this month at the Toronto International Film Festival.
So, now that Australia is submitting its first contender for the foreign-language award, I wonder if there are any other primarily English-speaking nations who haven't done so. I also wonder if it would be possible for the U.S. to submit a film if it were shot in a Native American language or even a non-native language. The rules for this category, some of which recently changed, are so darn confusing.