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Kazakh Film Ayka Among Foreign-Language Oscar Contenders

Samal Yeslyamova (left) and Sergei Dvortsevoi arrive for the screening of Ayka in Cannes in May.

The Kazakh movie Ayka has been shortlisted together with eight other films for the 2019 Oscar for best foreign-language motion picture.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the shortlist on December 17.

The movie by Kazakh director Sergei Dvortsevoi is about the ordeals of an unemployed single mother from post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan surviving in Moscow.

The list of final nominees will be narrowed further, and announced on January 22, and the awards ceremony is set or February 24.

At the Cannes Film Festival in May, Ayka won an acting award for 33-year-old Kazakh actress Samal Eslyamova, who plays the film's main character.

Other foreign movies on the shortlist are Birds of Passage (Colombia), The Guilty (Denmark), Never Look Away (Germany), Shoplifters (Japan), Capernaum (Lebanon), Roma (Mexico), Cold War (Poland), and Burning (South Korea.)

Based on reporting by AP, Screen Daily, and Deadline