New Delhi: The shortlist ahead of the nominations for the Best Foreign Film category at this year's Oscars is out and director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s smash hit Rang De Basanti has not featured in it.
Mehra’s film was one of the 61 entries vying for the coveted statuette in the Best Foreign Language Film category this year.
But the Academy sprung a surprise when Deepa Mehta’s Water, which is Canada's official entry for the Oscars, was shortlisted in the same category.
Pedro Almodovar's Volver has also been named among the shortlisted nine films, reports AFP.
The veteran Spanish director's movie will be one of the favourites at the Oscars but it will have to wait until January 23 for the Academy Award nominations to be announced to confirm its entry in the final five.
The shortlist in the Foreign Film category was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday.
Other notable movies included on the shortlist are Mexico's entry Pan's Labyrinth, a fantasy film from Guillermo Del Toro, and Germany's The Lives of Others.
But a surprise omission was China's Curse of the Golden Flower, the Zhang Yimou's epic, which had been tipped to vie for the top prize at the Oscar.
The Oscars will be held on February 25 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
As many as 61 films originally qualified for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the foreign-language film Oscar, but only nine of them have advanced to the final voting phase.
The rules for the category changed this year. Instead of several hundred members of the foreign-language film committee selecting the five nominees, this year – during what the Academy calls Phase I – their ballots selected nine finalists for nomination.
A Phase II committee of 30, comprised of 10 randomly selected members of the larger group and two 10-member contingents from New York and Los Angeles, will choose the final five nominees.
Screenings for Phase II will be held on Friday-Sunday in New York and Los Angeles.
Rang De Basanti, Lage Raho Munnabhai and Omkara were all considered by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the Golden Globe in the Best Foreign Language Film category, but neither managed to make the cut.
The full shortlist for the Oscars in Best Foreign Film Category is as follows:
Algeria, Days of Glory, Rachid Bouchareb, director;
Canada, Water, Deepa Mehta, director;
Denmark, After the Wedding, Susanne Bier, director;
France, Avenue Montaigne, Daniele Thompson, director;
Germany, The Lives of Others, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director;
Mexico, Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, director;
The Netherlands, Black Book, Paul Verhoeven, director;
Spain, Volver, Pedro Almodovar, director;
Switzerland, Vitus, Fredi M Murer, director.