OscarA record 58 countries have submitted films for consideration in Oscar's "best foreign film" category this year. In addition to the films that have already received international attention, there are submissions from Iraq (Requiem of Snow), Fiji (The Land Has Eyes), and Costa Rica (Caribe), all of which are participating for the first time.

Among the higher profile films in the pool are Belgium's The Child (a winner at Cannes), the suicide bomber drama Paradise Now (from Palestine), and two films from Eastern Europe that impressed American festival audiences, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Romania) and Something Like Happiness(Czech Republic). Another candidate that will undoubtedly receive special attention is Italy's, but the attention sadly comes less from acclaim than it does the controversial rejection of Private, the country's first submission, which was not an Italian-language film.

Nominees are announced January 31.