peghamLOS ANGELES: Yemen is competing for an Academy Award for best foreign language film for the first time, one of 85 countries submitting entries including Paul Verhoeven´s “Elle” and Pedro Almodovar´s “Julieta,” organizers announced Tuesday.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars, will consider Yemeni director Khadija al-Salami´s “I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced” — which explores the culture of child brides — it said in a statement.

The entries for Best Foreign Language Film also include Dutch director Verhoeven´s “Elle”, a transgressive thriller starring French actress Isabelle Huppert, and “Afterimage”, by the legendary Polish director Andrzej Wajda, who died Sunday.

Wajda portrayed the last years of avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski, who battled Stalinist orthodoxy, in a film some see as a metaphor for present-day Poland under the conservative Law and Justice Party.

Mexico´s Jonas Cuaron, son of star director Alfonso Cuaron, directed his country´s entry, the thriller “Desierto,” while Spain entered Almodovar´s “Julieta,” a vibrant portrait of a woman confronting crisis.

Switzerland submitted the animated “My Life as a Zucchini,” by Claude Barras, and Italy sent Gianfranco Rosi´s “Fire at Sea,” a documentary about migrants´ lives, focusing on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The academy will make a preliminary cut later this year before announcing five finalists in January.

The 89th Oscars ceremony is set for February 26, 2017.

Hungary´s “Son of Saul”, by director Laszlo Nemes, won the prestigious award this year.