Wednesday, July 10, 2019

92nd Academy Awards International Feature Film Submissions

Today is a very good day to start my favorite annual post with all country submissions to what used to be Foreign Language Film category as the Academy decided to change category name to a more politically correct name that says not much except that films are international therefore not national (!).  With time will get use to this new name as this year is still confusing for me.

What follows is the official press release with all the changes that includes the traditional short list of 9 now becoming short list of 10 with 7 chosen by the regular committee and 3 by Executive Committee.

The Foreign Language Film category name has been changed to International Feature Film.

“We have noted that the reference to ‘Foreign’ is outdated within the global filmmaking community,” commented Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann, co-chairs of the International Feature Film Committee. “We believe that International Feature Film better represents this category, and promotes a positive and inclusive view of filmmaking, and the art of film as a universal experience.”

The category name change does not change any existing category rules, the submission process, or eligibility requirements. An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track. Animated and documentary feature films are permitted. Only one film is accepted from each country as the official selection.

In addition, the shortlist for the International Feature Film award is expanding to ten films; seven to be chosen by the Phase I International Feature Film Committee, and the additional three to be voted by the International Feature Film Award Executive Committee.

As I'm always curious for knowledge went to Rule Thirteen and surprise, surprise there is a better definition, take a look.

An international film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.  Animated and documentary films are permitted.

Now we understand better the new name and category as key words are PRODUCED and outside USA.  So, has to be more than 51% (that's predominantly, isn't?) in a language that is NOT English and production has to be outside America.  Wonder what will happen with so many international movies where there is USA money BUT is filmed in a non-English language. Still not really clear but well, they will have to figure it out sooner than later.

Another interesting and highlighted info in Rule Thirteen is about streaming services films NOT being eligible.  Check the specific info.

Films that, in any version, receive a nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution before their first qualifying theatrical release will not be eligible for Academy Awards consideration.

What do you think directors (and producers) will prefer:  Having millions watching their film OR winning Academy awards?  2020 will have the real streaming services war in USA and consequently, around the world; those services that will remain have to have their own original content, that's what will make a difference for customers choice.  Services will do original content and people will watch it in hordes, while film festivals and film awards are still trying to restrain change.  Who will win at the end?  Let's hope winner is still us, the audience, as industry big players want to continue their now-too-long reigning of controlling what audiences can and cannot watch. Sigh.  Truth is Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or any other streaming service are NOT banned but the trick part is that all have to do a qualifying theatrical release before releasing movie at streaming service.

So, why today?  The first country has made it's announcement and is none other than Algeria sending a first feature film that opened in Cannes 2019 Un Certain Regard.

As always if you wish to read submission announcement in the original language or in English in trade sites go to my pinterest here.

Algeria: بابيشة Papicha, Mounia Meddour, (2019 Cannes Un Certain Regard)

Check info and available trailers @MOC
Check film posters here


Brazil:  August 27 announces selection

France: During last 2 weeks of September

Netherlands: Nine films advance, selection beginning of September

Pakistan: reception last day August 15, selection in September

Serbia: Last day reception on August 20
Switzerland: Selection on Friday, August 9 

Ukraine: August 23 announces selection

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