Slovakia has submitted Eva Nova, Marko Skop's story of an aging actress, to the Oscars in the foreign-language category.
The film, Skop's feature helming debut after a career as a documentary director, had its world premiere last year at the Toronto International Film Festival and has since screened at a raft of international fests, including this year's 51st edition of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic.
Emilia Vasaryova - who has a long and distinguished career in Slovak and Czech film - plays the title role where selfishness competes with compassion as the curtain comes down on her screen life.
Skop says he was inspired to write the script for the film after an interview he once had with French actress Annie Giradot, who, though bitter, alcoholic and disillusioned, rose to the occasion and performed a version of her screen self.
Eva Nova picked up the FIPRESCI prize at TIFF last year. This year it also has been nominated for the European Film Academy awards.
The film, supported by the Slovak and Czech national film funds, is a co-production by Artileria with Sirius Films, RTVS and Filmpark.
Slovakia has been submitting films to the Oscars since 1993 following the split-up of Czechoslovakia, but has never made the shortlist.
There was controversy in 2008 as Juraj Jakubisko's Bathory, starring Anna Friel, was blocked from consideration for Oscar submission by Slovak officials on the grounds the film did not qualify as a Slovak production.
Read more: Bathory