Austrian director Michael Haneke's Golden Globes-winning
The White Ribbon
is among nine movies in contention for the Oscars' coveted best foreign film prize, officials said Wednesday.
The powerful German-language entry, set in a German village on the eve of World War I, has advanced to a shortlist of films which will be whittled down to five nominees on February 2.
The movie scooped the Palme D'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival and is likely to be among the favorites at this year's Oscars, which will be held in Hollywood on March 7.
Also on the shortlist is Australia's critically acclaimed Samson and Delilah, aboriginaldirector Warwick Thornton's tale of young love in a troubled indigenous community.
The film, also honored at last year's Cannes festival, takes an unflinching look at the problems facing Australia's remote aboriginal communities.
Other films shortlisted include France's Un Prophete and Israel's Ajami.
A total of 65 films were initially eligible for the Oscars best foreign film category:
Argentina: El Secreto de Sus Ojos
Australia: Samson & Delilah
Bulgaria: The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner
France: Un Prophete
Germany: The White Ribbon
The Netherlands: Winter in Wartime
Peru: The Milk of Sorrow