For the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released a shortlist of contenders for the foreign-language Oscar. The Mexican visual effects spectacle PAN'S LABYRINTH, which features effects from Café FX, is among the short-listed films. The other eight films include: DAYS OF GLORY (Algeria), WATER (Canada), AFTER THE WEDDING (Denmark), AVENUE MONTAIGNE (France), THE LIVES OF OTHERS (Germany), BLACK BOOK (The Netherlands), VOLVER (Spain) and VITUS (Switzerland).
The foreign-language short-list came about due to rules changes at the Academy. Previously, a Los Angeles-based committee of a few hundred Academy members chose the five nominees. Now the committee only chooses the nine short-listed films. Then, a 30-member committee, comprised of 10 members from the original committee, 10 new L.A. members and 10 New York members, determine the nominees. In addition, the Academy changed the rule, which limited the films submitted by a country to ones that were primarily in the native language of that country.