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List of German submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

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Title: List of German submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wolf Gremm, The Promise (1995 film), Pina (film), The American Friend, Jacob the Liar (1975 film)
Collection: Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award Submissions by Country, Lists of German Films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

List of German submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Volker Schlöndorff, director of The Tin Drum (1979), the first German film to receive the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Germany has submitted films for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since the creation of the award in 1956. The award is handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.[1]

Each year, the Academy invites countries to submit their best films for competition according to strict rules, with only one film being accepted from each country.[1] However, because of Germany's status as a divided country throughout much of the second half of the 20th century, West Germany and East Germany competed separately in the Best Foreign Language Film category until 1990. With eight nominations and one win,[2] West Germany was far more successful than East Germany, whose only nomination was received in 1976 for Jacob the Liar, a film which the Moscow International Film Festival had refused to screen.[3] West Germany received four consecutive nominations during the first years of the award's existence. It fared less well in the 1960s, as all of its submissions failed to garner a nomination. The advent of New German Cinema led to an improvement of German cinema's reputation abroad. As a result of this, West Germany received several nominations during the 1970s, culminating with The Tin Drum's victory in 1979.[4]

West Germany and East Germany were formally reunited on 3 October 1990.[5] The 63rd Academy Awards, held on 25 March 1991,[6] were thus the first at which Germany was able to participate as a single country. Reunified Germany has been successful in the Best Foreign Language Film category, securing two wins and eight nominations in less than two decades.[2] The two German films that received the award since reunification are The Lives of Others (2006) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and Nowhere in Africa (2001) by Caroline Link, the only German director to have more than one film nominated for the award. Several other German films have received Academy Awards in categories other than Best Foreign Language Film.[a]


  • Submissions 1
    • West Germany 1.1
    • East Germany 1.2
    • Germany 1.3
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4


According to Academy rules, the selection of each country's official submission has to be made by "one organization, jury or committee that should include artists and/or craftspeople from the field of motion pictures".[1] In Germany's case, the selection committee and procedure are organized by the

  1. ^ a b c "Rule Thirteen: Special Rules for the Foreign Language Film Award". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  
  2. ^ a b "Foreign Language Film Facts". Academy Award Statistics.  
  3. ^ Baron, Lawrence (2005). Projecting the Holocaust Into the Present: The Changing Focus of Contemporary Holocaust Cinema. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 155.  
  4. ^ a b Pflaum, Hans Günther. "On the history of the German candidates for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film". German Films. Archived from the original on 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  5. ^ Steinbruckner, Bruno F. "Opening of the Berlin Wall and Unification". Germany: A country study (Solsten, Eric, ed.). Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress of the USA (August 1995).
  6. ^ "Oscar Legacy: Academy Awards Ceremonies from 1990–1999".  
  7. ^ "About Us". German Films Service + Marketing GmbH. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  8. ^ a b "German Films & The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film" ( 
  9. ^ NOTE: The film did not appear on the official AMPAS list
  10. ^ "THE WHITE RIBBON (DAS WEISSE BAND) representing Germany in the race for the OSCAR". German Films. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  11. ^ When We Leave' is German Oscar submission"'". hollywoodreporter. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  12. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Continue to Oscar Race". Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  13. ^ "Pina für Deutschland ins Oscar-Rennen". Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  14. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Vie for Oscar". Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  15. ^ "Germany's Oscar entry is Christian Petzold's Barbara". Screendaily. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  16. ^ "‘Two Lives’ To Rep Germany In Foreign-Language Oscar Race". Deadline. Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  17. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Advance in Oscar Race". Oscars. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 
  18. ^ "OSCARS: Germany Selects Dominik Graf’s ‘Beloved Sisters’ as Academy Award Entry". Variety. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Documentaries (feature-length and short)". German Films. Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  20. ^ "Short Film Academy Awards". German Films. Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  21. ^ a b Weinraub, Bernard (14 January 1992). Surfaces In Oscar Angling"Europa"The Talk of Hollywood; .  
  22. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (28 January 1992). "Europa"German Film Makers Express Support for .  
  23. ^ (1991) - Awards"Europa Europa".  
  24. ^ "Haneke greift für Deutschland nach Gold" (in German). Der Standard. 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  • "Best Features". German Films. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 


a^ : Several German films were nominated for or won Academy Awards in categories other than Best Foreign Language Film. Although it was never submitted by West Germany for competition in the Best Foreign Language Film category, the submarine film Das Boot by Wolfgang Petersen was nominated for six other Academy Awards, as it had been commercially released in Los Angeles County.[4] Nine German films were nominated in the documentary categories, but only Serengeti Shall Not Die (1959) by Bernhard Grzimek managed to win the Academy Award for Documentary Feature. The eight other nominated documentaries were: Kahl (1961) by Haro Senft, Chariots of the Gods (1970) by Harald Reinl, The Silent Revolution (1972) by Edouard de Laurot, Battle of Berlin (1973) by Franz Baake, The Yellow Star – The Persecution of the Jews in Europe 1933–45 (1980) by Dieter Hildebrandt, Marlene (1984) by Maximilian Schell, Buena Vista Social Club (1999) by Wim Wenders and The Story of the Weeping Camel (2004) by Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni.[19]
Five non-documentary German short films won Academy Awards as well. The Academy Award for Animated Short Film was won by Christoph Lauenstein and Wolfgang Lauenstein for Balance in 1989, and by Tyron Montgomery and Thomas Stellmach for Quest in 1996. Two other German films were nominated for but did not win the Academy Award for Animated Short Film: The Periwig-Maker (2000) by Steffen Schäffler and Das Rad (2002) by Chris Stenner, Arvid Uibel and Heidi Wittlinger. The Academy Award for Live Action Short Film was won by Pepe Danquart for Black Rider (Schwarzfahrer) in 1993, by Florian Gallenberger for Quiero ser (I want to be ...) in 2000 and by Jochen Alexander Freydank for Spielzeugland (Toyland) in 2008. Gregor's Greatest Invention by Johannes Kiefer was nominated for the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film in 2001 but lost.[20]
b^ : The committee which selects the German submission to the Academy is composed of the following nine associations:[8]
  • Verband der Filmproduzenten (Association of German Feature Film Producers);
  • Verband Deutscher Filmexporteure (Association of German Film Exporters);
  • AG Neuer Deutscher Spielfilmproduzenten (Association of New Feature Film Producers);
  • Verband der Filmverleiher (Association of Film Distributors);
  • Hauptverband Deutscher Filmtheater (Association of German Film Theaters);
  • Bundesverband Kamera (Association of Cinematographers);
  • Verband der deutschen Filmkritik (Association of German Film Critics);
  • Bundesverband Regie/Bundesverband der Fernseh- und Filmregisseure (Association of Television & Film Directors);
  • Filmförderungsanstalt (German Federal Film Board).
c^ : In 1991, the selection committee issued an official statement according to which no German film possessed the high quality to become a nominee.[21] Although Agnieszka Holland's film Europa Europa was critically acclaimed (winning prizes from the New York and Boston film critics, the National Board of Review, as well as a Golden Globe) and was at the time the second highest-grossing German film ever in the United States (after Das Boot), it was not chosen. This was widely criticized and prompted several prominent German filmmakers to write an open letter denouncing the selection panel's refusal to submit Europa Europa.[22] It was claimed that the committee did not choose the film due to its delicate subject matter (the story of a Jew who escaped persecution by the Nazis by masquerading as an Aryan). Members of the selection committee were reported to have unofficially said that the film was "junk" and "an embarrassment". It was also doubted whether the film would comply with Academy rules, as it was largely filmed in Poland and only partially produced with German financing.[21] Although Europa Europa was not submitted, it was commercially released in Los Angeles County and thus qualified for Academy Awards in other categories. It was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay but did not win.[23]
d^ : In 2009 the selection committee chose The White Ribbon as the official German submission. This has caused some controversy as well as confusion about the rules of the Academy, which would have accepted a submission from either Germany or Austria. Martin Schweighofer, head of the Austrian Film Commission, has expressed that he isn't happy with the decision: "The discomfort arises because of the vague rules of the Academy. In essential regards the film is Austrian." It has been reported that the American distributor, Sony Pictures Classics, pressured Germany to submit it rather than Austria for tactical reasons, since Austrian films have been nominated two years in a row with 2007's The Counterfeiters and 2008's Revanche.[24]
e1 2 3 : Each year is linked to an article about that particular year in film history.


See also

Film title used in nomination Original title Director Result
The Nasty Girl Das schreckliche Mädchen Verhoeven, MichaelMichael Verhoeven Nominated
Schtonk! Schtonk! Dietl, HelmutHelmut Dietl Nominated
Justice Justiz GeissendorferHans W. Geißendörfer Not Nominated
The Promise Das Versprechen TrottaMargarethe von Trotta Not Nominated
Brother of Sleep Schlafes Bruder Vilsmaier, JosephJoseph Vilsmaier Not Nominated
Deathmaker Der Totmacher Karmakar, RomualdRomuald Karmakar Not Nominated
Beyond Silence Jenseits der Stille Link, CarolineCaroline Link Nominated
Run Lola Run Lola rennt Tykwer, TomTom Tykwer Not Nominated
Aimée & Jaguar Aimée und Jaguar FarberbockMax Färberböck Not Nominated
No Place to Go Die Unberührbare Roehler, OskarOskar Roehler Not Nominated
The Experiment Das Experiment Hirschbiegel, OliverOliver Hirschbiegel Not Nominated
Nowhere in Africa Nirgendwo in Afrika Link, CarolineCaroline Link Won Academy Award
Good Bye, Lenin! Good Bye, Lenin! Becker, WolfgangWolfgang Becker Not Nominated
Downfall Der Untergang Hirschbiegel, OliverOliver Hirschbiegel Nominated
Sophie Scholl – The Final Days Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage Rothemund, MarcMarc Rothemund Nominated
The Lives of Others Das Leben der Anderen DonnersmarckFlorian Henckel von Donnersmarck Won Academy Award
The Edge of Heaven Auf der anderen Seite AkinFatih Akın Not Nominated
The Baader Meinhof Complex Der Baader Meinhof Komplex Edel, UliUli Edel Nominated
The White Ribbon[10] Das weiße Band Haneke, MichaelMichael Haneke Nominated
When We Leave[11] Die Fremde Aladag, FeoFeo Aladag Not Nominated[12]
Pina[13] Pina – Tanzt, tanzt sonst sind wir verloren Wenders, WimWim Wenders Made January Shortlist[14]
Barbara[15] Barbara Christian Petzold Not Nominated
Two Lives[16] Zwei Leben Georg Maas Made January Shortlist[17]
Beloved Sisters[18] Die geliebten Schwestern Dominik Graf


Film title used in nomination Original title Director Result
Her Third Der Dritte GuntherEgon Günther Not Nominated
Jacob the Liar Jakob der Lügner Beyer, FrankFrank Beyer Nominated
Mama, I'm Alive Mama, ich lebe Wolf, KonradKonrad Wolf Not Nominated
The Fiancee Die Verlobte Reisch, GünterGünter Reisch
RuckerGünther Rücker
Not Nominated
The Turning Point Der Aufenthalt Beyer, FrankFrank Beyer Not Nominated

East Germany

Film title used in nomination Original title Director Result
The Captain of Köpenick Der Hauptmann von Köpenick KautnerHelmut Käutner Nominated
The Devil Came at Night Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam Siodmak, RobertRobert Siodmak Nominated
Arms and the Man Helden Wirth, Franz PeterFranz Peter Wirth Nominated
The Bridge Die Brücke Wicki, BernhardBernhard Wicki Nominated
Faust Faust Gorski, PeterPeter Gorski Not Nominated
Young Törless Der junge Törless SchlondorffVolker Schlöndorff Not Nominated
Tattoo Tätowierung Schaaf, JohannesJohannes Schaaf Not Nominated
Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: ratlos Kluge, AlexanderAlexander Kluge Not Nominated
Hunting Scenes From Bavaria Jagdszenen aus Niederbayern Fleischmann, PeterPeter Fleischmann Not Nominated
o.k. o.k. Verhoeven, MichaelMichael Verhoeven Not Nominated
The Castle Das Schloß Noelte, RudolfRudolf Noelte Not Nominated
Trotta Trotta Schaaf, JohannesJohannes Schaaf Not Nominated
The Pedestrian Der Fußgänger Schell, MaximilianMaximilian Schell Nominated
One or the Other of Us Einer von uns beiden Petersen, WolfgangWolfgang Petersen Not Nominated
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle Herzog, WernerWerner Herzog Not Nominated
The Clown [9] Ansichten eines Clowns Vojtech JasnyVojtěch Jasný Not Nominated
The American Friend Der amerikanische Freund Wenders, WimWim Wenders Not Nominated
The Glass Cell Die gläserne Zelle GeissendorferHans W. Geißendörfer Nominated
The Tin Drum Die Blechtrommel SchlondorffVolker Schlöndorff Won Academy Award
Fabian Fabian Gremm, WolfWolf Gremm Not Nominated
Lili Marleen Lili Marleen Fassbinder, Rainer WernerRainer Werner Fassbinder Not Nominated
Fitzcarraldo Fitzcarraldo Herzog, WernerWerner Herzog Not Nominated
A Woman in Flames Die flambierte Frau AckerenRobert van Ackeren Not Nominated
Man Under Suspicion Morgen in Alabama KuckelmannNorbert Kückelmann Not Nominated
Angry Harvest Bittere Ernte Holland, AgnieszkaAgnieszka Holland Nominated
Men... Männer… DorrieDoris Dörrie Not Nominated
Wings of Desire Der Himmel über Berlin Wenders, WimWim Wenders Not Nominated
Yasemin Yasemin Bohm, HarkHark Bohm Not Nominated
Spider's Web Das Spinnennetz Wicki, BernhardBernhard Wicki Not Nominated

West Germany

[d] in 2009 also caused a minor controversy.The White Ribbon The selection of [c] Although East Germany used to submit films sparingly, West Germany and later reunified Germany have been regular participants, and have sent a film to the Academy in every year except from 1962 to 1964 and in 1991. The refusal of the selection committee to submit a film in 1991 was highly controversial.[8]

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