Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 15:54 UK

Afghan film submitted for Oscar

The Newsnight Review team discuss Afghan Star earlier this year

A documentary about a Pop Idol-style talent search in Afghanistan has been named as the UK's submission for next year's foreign language film Oscar.

Afghan Star, which follows two male and two female participants in the contest, was submitted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta).

Though British, it is eligible because most of its dialogue is in Dari.

Last year's submission, Hope Eternal, was predominantly in Welsh but did not make the eventual Oscar shortlist.

The last British submission for the award was 1999's Solomon and Gaenor, a romantic drama shot largely in Yiddish and Welsh.

Awards success

Afghan Star is not eligible for next year's best documentary Oscar as it was screened on UK television prior to its US release.

Directed by Havana Marking, the film was made by London-based company Roast Beef in tandem with Redstart and Kaboora Productions.

Its selection follows its success at this year's Sundance Film Festival where it won audience and directing awards.

Sixty-four countries have submitted features for next year's award, with Palme d'Or winner The White Ribbon being Germany's candidate.

Japanese film Departures won last year's foreign language film Oscar, beating such hotly tipped contenders as French drama The Class and Israel's Waltz with Bashir.

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