Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree, which premiered this year in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, was selected as Turkey’s submission into this year’s Foreign Language Film Oscar race. It marks the fifth film from Ceylan chosen to rep the country, and the first since 2014’s Winter Sleep which won Cannes’ Palme d’Or.
Local media reports said 12 films were in the running for the slot and Pear Tree was chosen among film professionals and Culture and Tourism Ministry officials. The 91st Oscars are set for February 24, 2019. Cinema Guild has U.S. rights to the film and plans a 2019 release.
The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat Agaci) center son Sinan (Aydin Doğu Demirkol), an aspiring writer, who returns home after university hoping to scrape together enough money to publish his first novel, but his ambition is slowed by the gambling past of his father (Murat Cemcir).
No Turkish film has ever broken through for the top five slots nominated in the category, though Ceylan’s Three Monkeys made the shortlist in 2009. Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s 2015 nominee Mustang was a Turkish-language film, but it was made in France.
Chile’s A Fantastic Woman won the Foreign Language Oscar this year, the country’s first victory in the category.
Here’s a list of 2019 foreign-language entries to date:
2019 Foreign Language Film Oscar Submissions
- Belarus – Crystal Swan – Darya Zhuk
- Estonia – Take It Or Leave It – Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo
- Romania – I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians – Radu Jude
- Slovakia – The Interpreter – Martin Sulik
- Switzerland – Eldorado – Markus Imhoof
- Turkey – The Wild Pear Tree – Nuri Bilge Ceylan