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Barfi makes it to Oscar long-list; to compete with 70 other films for nomination

India's "Barfi", directed by Anurag Basu, is amongst the 71 films named for the 2012 Foreign Language Oscar category, the Academy announced.

The movie, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D'Cruz, was highly appreciated in India and overseas and made a business of 100 crores.

Other foreign-language entries include the French hit "The Intouchables", from directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, "The Patience Stone" from Afghan filmmaker Atiq Rahimi and Austria's "Amour" from director Michael Haneke.

"Amour" had previously won the top prize at last May's Cannes Film Festival. The film stars Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant as an elderly couple coping with the wife's worsening health.

Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in Barfi
Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in Barfi

Nakache's "The Intouchables" starring Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy is the second-highest-grossing film of all time and has earned USD 355 million internationally. It follows the story of an unlikely friendship between Philippe, a wealthy quadriplegic, and Driss, a young and poor man from the ghettos, who is hired as his live-in carer following a horrific road crash. 

However, missing this time from the Oscar race is Iran, last year's Oscar-winner for best foreign film. The nation opted out of Academy Awards as a statement of protest against the YouTube video "Innocence of Muslims."

The submissions also feature Sweden's "The Hypnotist," from Lasse Hallstrom, Norway's "Kon-Tiki" from directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, Armenian director Natalia Belyauskene's "If Only Everyone" and "War Witch" from Canada's Kim Nguyen.

The list also includes first-time entrant Kenya with movies - Ould-Khelifa's "Zabana" representing Algeria, and David Tosh Gitonga's "Nairobi Half Life". The Academy will announce the final list of 5 nominated films on January 10, 2013 and the official ceremony will take place on February 24, 2013.

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