Press release from The Lantern Group

Warwick Thornton and Kath Shelper’s international hit feature Samson & Delilah is one of nine films shortlisted for the 2009 Foreign Language Film Oscar®.

“This is the first time an Australian film has been shortlisted in the Foreign Language Film category and we are immensely proud of the entire Samson & Delilah team for this fantastic achievement,” said Ruth Harley, Screen Australia Chief Executive.

Samson & Delilah was developed and produced with assistance from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department.

Foreign Language Film nominations are determined in two phases. In Phase I, a committee of several hundred Los Angeles-based members viewed the 65 eligible films between mid-October and mid-January. The committee’s top six choices, along with three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, make the shortlist.

A committee will spend next weekend viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots to determine the final five nominees. Nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards® will be announced on Tuesday 2 February 2010.

Samson & Delilah has taken over $3.1 million at the Australian box office since its release in May 2009 and has screened in over 100 locations. As well as being awarded the prestigious Caméra D’Or at last year’s Cannes International Film Festival, Samson & Delilah won Best Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Direction at the 2009 Australian Film Institute Awards. The two stars of the film, Marissa Gibson and Rowan McNamara, shared the AFI Young Actor Award.

The Academy Awards® for outstanding film achievements of 2009 take place on Sunday 7 March 2010.

The film’s US campaign strategy has been devised and implemented by Sydney-based company, Filmmarketing, with logistical coordination by LA-based Kean & Kolar Communications.

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