'Tangerines' misses out in the Best Foreign Language Film category (3)

(AFP/Scanpix)
2/23/2015 4:11 AM
Category: Culture

The "Tangerines" has lost out to Poland's "Ida" in the race for an Academy Award for the best foreign language film.

The "Tangerines" was the first ever Estonian film to be nominated for an Oscar in the foreign language film category.

The plot takes place in an Estonian village during the war in Abkhazia, toward the end of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. The title character, played by Lembit Ulfsak, refuses to flee his war-torn homeland, to help his neighbor, portrayed by Elmo Nüganen, harvest his crop of tangerines. He ends up sheltering two soldiers from the opposite sides. The movie reveals compassion to be the ultimate response to centuries of political, cultural and ethnic conflict, a compelling and relevant message for contemporary audiences.

The film was previosuly hailed as the year's most effective anti-war movie by Vogue, and The New Republic, an American liberal magazine, recently called it “the anti-American Sniper.”

It has picked up numerous awards since its premiere in 2013, most lately the International Press Academy's prestigious Satellite Award for the best international motion picture.

The makers of the "Tangerines" remained very humble before today. "The chances of winning it are non-numerical, they are very slim indeed," producer Ivo Felt told ETV straight after the nomination. Yet, his confidence increased after winning the Satellite Award, an Estonian online news portal Delfi reported from Los Angeles.

Prior to today's Oscar's gala, "Leviathan" was the overall favorite for the foreign language film award.

There's hope that the Estonian-Georgian film will now also reach wider audiences in the US. The distributing rights of the film were recently acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

The film was directed and written by the Georgian director, Zaza Urushadze, and produced by the Estonian producer, Ivo Felt.

M. Oll

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