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'The Fencer' advances to top 9 in Oscars race

The Finnish-Estonian co-production "The Fencer" has advanced in the race for the Oscar for best foreign-language film, moving on to the next phase of voting for the 88th Academy Awards.

The list of 80 films originally considered eligible for the Oscar, including Estonia's choice "1944," have been narrowed down to nine:

  • Belgium, “The Brand New Testament,” directed by Jaco Van Dormael
  • Colombia, “Embrace of the Serpent,” Ciro Guerra
  • Denmark, “A War,” Tobias Lindholm
  • Finland, “The Fencer,” Klaus Härö
  • France, “Mustang,” Deniz Gamze Ergüven
  • Germany, “Labyrinth of Lies,” Giulio Ricciarelli
  • Hungary, “Son of Saul,” László Nemes
  • Ireland, “Viva,” Paddy Breathnach
  • Jordan, “Theeb,” Naji Abu Nowar

The list of five official nominees will be announced on January 14. The Oscars gala will be held on February 28.

"The Fencer" has also recently been nominated for a Golden Globe.

The film tells the story of the legendary Estonian fencing coach Endel Nelis (1925-1993), played by Estonian actor Märt Avandi. It is directed by Klaus Härö and based on the original screenplay by Anna Heinämaa.

Last year, Estonia's entry "Tangerines" earned an Oscar nomination but lost to Poland's "Ida" in the end. "The Fencer" represents Finland.

Editor: M. Oll

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