Welcome to The Season, the new FilmLinc.com section for year-end editorial coverage of everyone's favorite topics: awards, nominations and the best films of 2012! We're very proud that a whopping 50 of last year's Oscar nominations went to films that played in our festivals and theaters, and we're betting this year will be no different. So join us as we hash out all the nods, lauds, and snubs now through the end of The Season!

Although the 85th Academy Awards are still six months away, Oscar chatter has already begun with several announcements of entries for Best Foreign Language Film.

This week, Austria announced that its submission would be Michael Haneke's Amour, the Palme d'Or winner at this year's Cannes Film Festival and an official selection of the 50th New York Film Festival. Not much of a surprise, except when you consider that the film is in French and is a co-production with France and Germany. Although the Academy requirement is that a film must be released in its submitting country, after 2006 films were allowed to be linguistically separate. The unanimous favorite at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Amour seems to be a lock for one of the eventual five nominations, which will be announced alongside the rest of the nominees in late-January.

Germany fought for and won the right to submit Haneke's other Palme d'Or winner The White Ribbon in 2010, but apparently ceded to Austria this time around. Instead, it has served up for Oscar consideration Christian Petzold's Barbara, the Silver Bear Winner (Best Director) at this year's Berlin Film Festival and another NYFF Main Slate selection. Petzold's Cold War thriller beat out eight other shortlisted films including action flick Guardian Angels from German box office stalwart Til Schweiger and Margarette von Trotta's bio-pic Hannah Arendt.

Additional entries have come in from Japan, Venezuela and Cambodia—where Chhay Bora's Lost Loves is the first film to be submitted to the Academy in 18 years—and more will follow soon. No matter what gets nominated, one thing is for certain: the competition will be stiff. Sometimes overlooked amongst the glitz and glamour of the Oscars, the Best Foreign Language Film category regularly sports one of the strongest roster of films in the ceremony, and this year looks to be no different.

Here's a list of the films that have already been submitted for consideration:

Michael Haneke's Amour (Austria)
Chhay Bora's Lost Loves (Cambodia)
Christian Petzold's Barbara (Germany)
Faouzi Bensaïdi's Death for Sale (Morocco)
Goran Paskaljević's When Day Breaks (Serbia) 
Hernán Jabes' Rock, Paper, Scissors (Venezuela)
Yang Yong-hi's Our Homeland (Japan)