The black and white film by Austrian director Michael Haneke will compete for the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography awards at the March 7 ceremony.
For the first award it will go up against Israeli film “Ajami,” Argentina's “El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” Peru's Berlinale winner “The Milk of Sorrow,” and France's “Un Prophète.”
Christian Berger's work as cinematographer will compete against blockbusters “Avatar,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” “The Hurt Locker,” and Quentin Tarantino's Nazi revenge film “Inglourious Basterds.”
Set in a northern German protestant village in 1913-14, the dark drama explores mysterious accidents and brutal events that befall townspeople just before the start of World War I. It has already been awarded the renowned Palme d'Or award at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival and a 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
The €12-million film was co-produced by Berlin's X-Filme, and producer Stefan Arndt said he had only allowed himself to “dream of being nominated into the illustrious circle of the Oscar nominees.”