Tuesday, December 18, 2018

#Oscars2019 Foreign-Language Films Shortlist

Yesterday the Academy announced the films that will advance to be considered for a nomination in several categories; one of them is the foreign language film where nine (9) films advance.

Most of us recall the process but for those that don't here it is: Los Angeles-based Academy members from all branches screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 10. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

There are no surprises in this shortlist as includes the five that believe will obtain a nomination and if they don't, then that will be a huge surprise.  I'm talking about Roma, Cold War, Shoplifters, Burning and Capernaum.  Among the other four perhaps the most unexpected is Kazakhstan submission but we have to remember that film got the Best Actress award at 2018 Cannes.

Some are surprised with submissions from Italy, Belgium, Ukraine, and Hungary not making the list but there were too-many great movies submitted as also Iceland, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Paraguay, Romania, Sweden, UK and Turkey sent outstanding movies, most by renown directors like Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Sergey Loznitsa, Radu Jude, and Aida Begic.

The shortlist of nine BIG winner is none other than Cannes (!!!) as out of the nine films six (6) are films screened at 2018 Cannes.  Have to admit that this is quite amazing in a year where Cannes didn't shine that much or shall we say, was overshadowed by Venice.  Talking about Venice, yes there are two films in the list and yes, Roma is one of them.  Some of us hope film will get this Oscar but most of us hope will crossover to Oscar main categories as then, only then, world industry could start to admit audiences are the ones deciding about streaming consumption and obviously, they love the services as allows them to watch movies whenever and wherever they wish to see them.

Shortlist of Nine

Colombia: Pájaros de Verano (Birds of Passage), Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra (2018 Cannes Quinzaine)

Denmark: Den skyldige (The Guilty), Gustav Möllers

Germany: Werk ohne Autor (Never Look Away), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (2018 Biennale Venezia75 Competition)

Japan: 万引き家族 Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters), Hirokazu Koreeda (2018 Cannes Palme d'Or winner)

Kazakhstan: Ayka, Sergei Dvortsevoy (2018 Cannes Best Actress winner)

Lebanon: كفرناحوم Capharnaüm (Capernaum), Nadine Labaki (2018 Cannes Jury Prize, Ecumenical Jury Prize and Prix de la citoyenneté winner)

Mexico: Roma, Alfonso Cuarón (2018 Biennale Cinema Venezia75 Golden Lion Winner and SIGNIS Award winner)

Poland: Zimna wojna (Cold War), Pawel Pawlikowski (2018 Cannes Best Director winner)

South Korea: 버닝 Beoning (Burning), Lee Chang-dong (2018 Cannes Competition FIPRESCI award winner)

Academy members eligible to participate in the Nominations round of voting will view the shortlisted films. Members must see all nine films before casting their ballots.  Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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