Last year's winner for Best Foreign Film was "A Separation," directed by Asghar Farhadi and representing Iran. See this year's submissions sorted alphabetically by country here and by track record of each country here.
This often controversial category is often known for messy international politics caused in part by a selection process that limits each nation to one film apiece.
In recent years the category has produced a number of upset victories: in 2009, "The Secret in Their Eyes" (Argentina) over critical favorites "A Prophet" (France) and "The White Ribbon" (Germany); in 2008, "Departures" (Japan) over the acclaimed "The Class" (France) and "Waltz with Bashir" (Israel).
In 2006, despite earning an Original Screenplay nomination and winning three technical Oscars, "Pan's Labyrinth" (Mexico) lost Foreign Film to "The Lives of Others" (Germany).
The most awarded nation in this category is Italy with 13 wins. This year the nation has entered the prison drama "Caesar Must Die."
France has won 12 times and has the most all-time nominations (36). This year it has submitted "The Intouchables," which tells the story of the friendship between a poor man and a quadriplegic.
The Academy received widespread criticism for snubbing Romania's critically hailed 2007 submission, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days." Its director, Cristian Mungiu, is representing the country once again this year with "Beyond the Hills."
Other films in contention include "Lore" (Australia), "Our Children" (Belgium), "Lost Loves" (Cambodia), "No" (Chile), "A Royal Affair" (Denmark), "Barfi" (India), "80 Million" (Poland), "Pieta" (South Korea), and "The Hypnotist" (Sweden).