by Jill Lawless, The Associated Press Posted Jan 23, 2018 6:09 am PDT Last Updated Jan 23, 2018 at 12:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Chilean transgender drama up for foreign language Oscar This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows Daniela Vega in a scene from, “A Fantastic Woman.” The film was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign picture on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. The 90th Oscars will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 4. (Sony Pictures Classics via AP) LONDON – Lebanon’s first Academy Award-nominated movie and a landmark Chilean drama with a transgender star are among five Oscar contenders announced Tuesday for best foreign language film.Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri’s “The Insult” and Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman” are up against Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s art-world satire “The Square,” Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev’s divorce drama “Loveless” and abattoir-set love story “On Body and Soul” by Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi.The winner will be announced at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony on March 4.“A Fantastic Woman” centres on a transgender woman (trans actress Daniela Vega) who is shunned by her lover’s family after his death. It has been hailed as a milestone in representing transgender characters, though the director says he did not set out to make history.“It’s surprising to me how timely it is,” Lelio told The Associated Press. “We have been very mesmerized by the way in which the film has overflowed the cinematic realm and has made its way into the cultural conversation.”Lelio said he sees the film as a love story “that happens to happen to a transgender woman.”“For me, it has always been a film about the limits to our empathy,” he said. “About what we are willing to allow from others, where we draw the line in terms of which people are legitimate or which acts of love are legitimate or not.”Paris-based Lebanese director Doueiri said the nomination for “The Insult” was “great news for us and for Lebanon.”“It’s been a very, very long and difficult road to get where we are,” he said.In “The Insult,” a petty plumbing dispute between a Lebanese Christian man and a Palestinian refugee becomes a courtroom showdown and exposes fissures within Lebanese society. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where its Palestinian co-star, Kamel El Basha, won the best actor trophy.Doueiri was briefly detained when he returned to Lebanon because he had visited Israel, where his previous film “The Attack” was shot. Lebanon and Israel are in a state of war and Beirut bans its citizens from visiting Israel or having business dealings with Israelis.“Making films means crossing borders,” said Doueiri, undaunted. “Nobody can tell a director where to film.”He said he hoped “The Insult” would show international audiences a different side of the Middle East, a region often associated with violence and turmoil.“It says that in spite of all these things, there is a hope of reconciliation,” Doueiri told the AP.This year’s nominees will come to Oscars trailing awards from international film festivals. “Loveless” took the top prize at the 2017 London Film Festival, where judges praised Zvyagintsev for turning the story of one family’s disintegration into a universal tragedy.The Russian director said the Academy Award nomination “means a great deal to us as filmmakers, and it encourages us to continue to tell the stories that move us, in the way we want to tell them. “Hungarian entry “On Body and Soul” won the Golden Bear top prize at last year’s Berlin Film Festival.Director Enyedi said the film, a surreal love story with a grim slaughterhouse setting, is “a movie about two everyday people whose lives are illuminated by the power of dreams.”Enyedi — the only female director among the foreign language finalists —said getting an Oscar nomination “in a year where so many exceptional women are being honoured for their work behind the camera humbles me.”“The Square,” a sharp-eyed satire about a museum director whose well-ordered life begins to unravel through a series of strange events won the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.Ostlund said the Oscar nomination was “fantastic.”“I wanted to make an entertaining, wild and funny movie at the same time,” he told the AP from the Sundance Film Festival.“It’s not that often that comedies get acknowledgement from prestigious prizes. So I am very, very happy with that.”Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical “The Shape of Water” leads the overall Oscars race, with nominations in 13 categories, including best picture.___Associated Press writers Pablo Gorondi in Budapest, Jan Olsen in Copenhagen and Sarah El-Deeb in Beirut contributed to this story.