Sicilian epic Baaria is Italy’s choice for Oscars

Rome – Giuseppe Tornatore’s Sicilian epic, Baaria, will represent Italy in next year’s Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film category, the Italian film industry association, ANICA, said Tuesday.

Featuring dozens of characters and spanning three generations, Baaria tells the story of a family living in Tornatore’s birthplace, Bagheria, a town near the Sicilian capital Palermo. The film, in which the dialogue is mostly in Sicilian dialect, premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month, but did not win any award. Another film set by Tornatore in Sicily, Cinema Paradiso, won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1989. The US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is set in February 2010 to select five foreign-language films as award-candidates.

The Oscar winner will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony scheduled for March. Full list for Best Foreign Language Film will be released October 1.