Monday, August 10, 2020

93rd Academy Awards International Feature Film Submissions


Update: October 13, 2020
Many in the film industry claim that 2020 is (or already is "was"?) an irregular year for cinema and awards like this one should not happen. My reaction goes to say that most films that will be in this list were produced in 2019 or even before that year when life was as "always" have been. So, 2020 could be a "regular" year, next year is when the effect of the many changes to our lives and obviously to the cinema industry will affect, disrupt and will be an extremely irregular year for this category in this award.

As a consequence believe list could be as long as has been in previous years and with all this new countries, some submitting for first-time ever, could even match previous record of 92 films, or at least be close to that number.

The List

Albania: Derë e hapur (Open Door), Florenc Papas
Algeria: هيليوبوليس Héliopolis, Djaâfar Gacem
Argentina: Los Sonámbulos (The Sleepwalkers), Paula Hernández (#SSIFF2019 Horizontes)
Armenia: Սողոմոնի երգերը Songs of Solomon, Arman Nshanyan
Austria: Was wir wollten (What We Wanted), Ulrike Kofler

Bangladesh: ইতি, তোমারই ঢাকা Iti, Tomari Dhaka (Sincerely Yours, Dhaka), eleven directors: Tanvir Ahsan, Saleh Sobhan Auneem, Mir Mukarram Hossain, Golan Kibria Farooki, Abdulah Al Noor, Robiul Alam Robi, Krishnendu Chattopadhyay, Nuhash Humayun, Mahmudul Islam, Rahat Rahman, and Syed Ahmed Shawki
Belarus: Persischstunden (Persian Lessons), Vadim Perelman (#Berlinale2020 Special Gala)
Belgium: Filles de joie (Working Girls), Frédéric Fonteyne and Anne Paulicevich (#IFFR2020)
Bhutan: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, Pawo Choyning Dorji
Bolivia: Chaco, Diego Mondaca (#IFFR2020 Bright Future Competition)
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Quo Vadis, Aida?, Jasmile Žbanić (#Venezia77 Competition)
Brazil: Babenco - Alguém Tem Que Ouvir o Coração e Dizer: Parou (Babenco: Tell Me When I Die), Bárbara Paz (documentary) (#CinemaBiennale2019 Venezia Classici Best Documentary award winner)
Bulgaria: Бащата Bashtata (The Father), Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (2019 Karlovy Vary Crystal Globe winner)

Canada: Funny Boy, Deepa Mehta
Chile: El Agente Topo (The Mole Agent), Maite Alberdi (documentary)
China: 夺冠 Duóguàn (Leap), Peter Ho-Sun Chan
Colombia: El Olvido que Seremos (Forgotten We'll Be), Fernando Trueba (#Cannes2020)
Costa Rica: Ceniza Negra (Land of Ashes), Sofía Quirós Ubeda (#Cannes2019 Critics' Week)
Croatia: Dopunska nastava (Extracurricular), Ivan-Goran Vitez
Czech Republic: Šarlatán (Charlatan), Agnieszka Holland (#Berlinale2020 Special Gala)

Denmark: Druk (Another Round), Thomas Vinterberg (#Cannes2020)
Dominican Republic: Mis 500 Locos (A State of Madness), Leticia Tonos

Ecuador: Vacío (Emptiness), Paúl Venegas
Egypt: لما بنتولد Lama Benetweled (When We're Born), Tamer Ezzat
Estonia: Viimased (The Last Ones), Veiko Õunpuu

Finland: Tove, Zaida Bergroth
France: Deux (Two of Us), Filippo Meneghetti

Georgia: დასაწყისი Dasatskisi (Beginning), Dea Kulumbegashvili (#SSIFF2020 Golden Seashell winner plus 3 more top awards)
Germany: Und morgen die ganze welt (And Tomorrow The Entire World), Julia von Heinz (#Venezia77 Competition)
Greece: Μήλα Mila (Apples), Christos Nikou (#BiennaleCinema2020 Orizzonti)
Guatemala: La LLorona (The Weeping Woman), Jayro Bustamante (#BiennaleCinema2019 Giornate degli Autori Director's Award winner)

Hong Kong: 少年的你 Shao nian de ni (Better Days), Derek Tsang
Hungary: Felkészülés meghatározatlan ideig tartó együttlétre (Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time), Lili Horvát (#BiennaleCinema2020 Giornate degli Autori)

Iceland: Agnes Joy, Silja Hauksdóttir
India: ജെല്ലിക്കെട്ട് Jallikattu, Lijo Jose Pellissery
Indonesia: Perempuan Tanah Jahanam (Impetigore), Joko Anwar
Iran: خورشید Khorshid (Sun Children), Majid Majidi (#Venezia77 Competition)
Ireland: Arracht (Monster), Tom Sullivan
Israel: אסיה Asia, Ruthy Pribar (2020 Tribeca Nora Ephron Prize winner)
Italy: Notturno, Gianfranco Rosi (documentary) (#Venezia77 Competition. Winner of: ArcaCinemaGiovani Best Italian Film, Green Drop Award, Sorisso Diverso Award, and Cinema for UNICEF)
Ivory Coast: La Nuit des Rois (Night of the Kings), Philippe Lacôte (#BiennaleCinema2020 Orizzonti)

Japan: 朝が来る Asa ga kuru (True Mothers), Naomi Kawase (#Cannes2020, 2020 San Sebastian Golden Shell Competition)
Jordan: 200 Meters, Ameen Nayfeh (#BiennaleCinema2020 Giornate degli Autori)

Kazakhstan: Ұлы дала зары The Crying Steppe, Marina Kunarova
Kenya: Barua (The Letter), Maia Lekow and Chris King (documentary)
Kosovo: Exil (Exile), Visar Morina (2020 Heart of Sarajevo award winner,  #Berlinale2020 Panorama)
Kyrgyzstan: Жөө Күлүк Jo Kuluk, (Running to the Sky) Mirlan Abdykalykov

Latvia: Dvēseļu putenis (Blizzard of Souls), Dzintars Dreibergs
Lebanon: مفاتيح مكسورة Broken Keys, Jimmy Keyrouz (#Cannes2020)
Lesotho: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (#BiennaleCinema2019 College Cinema, 2020 Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Visionary Filmmaking winner)
Lithuania: Nova Lituania, Karolis Kaupinis (2019 Karlovy Vary East of the West competition)
Luxembourg: Cuentos del Rio (River Tales), Julie Schroell (documentary)

Malaysia: Roh (Soul), Emir Ezwan
Mexico: Ya no estoy aquí (I'm No Longer Here), Fernando Frías
Montenegro: Grudi (Breasts), Marija Perović
Morocco: القديس المجهول The Unknown Saint, Alaa Eddine Aljem (#Cannes2019 Semaine de la Critique)

Netherlands: Buladó, Eché Janga
Nigeria: The Milkmaid, Desmond Ovbiagele
North Macedonia: Врба Vrba (Willow), Milcho Manchevski
Norway: Håp (Hope), Maria Sødahl (#Berlinale2020 Panorama Label Europa Cinemas award winner)

Pakistan: Zindagi Tamasha (Circus of Life), Sarmad Sultan Khoosat
Palestine: غزة حبيبتي Gaza Mon Amour, Tarzan Nasser and Arab Nasser (#BiennaleCinema2020 Orizzonti)
Panama: Operación Causa Justa (Operation Just Cause), Luis Pacheco and Luis Franco
Peru: Canción Sin Nombre (Song Without a Name), Melina León (#Cannes2019 Quinzaine)
Philippines: Mindanao, Brillante Mendoza
Poland: Śniegu już nigdy nie będzie (Never Gonna Snow Again), Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert (#Venezia77 Competition)
Portugal: Listen, Ana Rocha de Souza (#BiennaleCinema2020 Lion of the Future - Luigi de Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film winner and Orizzonti Special Jury Prize winner)

Romania: Colectiv (Collective), Alexander Nanau (documentary) (#Venezia76 Out of Competition)
Russia: Дорогие товарищи! Dorogie Tovarishchi! (Dear Comrades!), Andrei Konchalovsky (#Venezia77 Special Jury Prize winner)

Serbia: Dara iz Jasenovca (Dara in Jasenovac), Predrag Antonijević
Singapore: 熱帶雨 Wet Season, Anthony Chen
Slovakia: Správa (The Auschwitz Report), Peter Bebjak
Slovenia: Zgodbe iz kostanjevih gozdov (Stories from the Chestnut Woods), Gregor Bozic
South Africa: Toorbos, Rene van Rooyen
South Korea: 남산의 부장들 Namsanui bujangdeul (The Man Standing Next), Woo Min-ho
Spain: La Trinchera Infinita (The Endless Trench), Jon Garaño, Aitor Arregi, and José Mari Goenaga (2019 San Sebastian Silver Shell Best Director and Jury Prize Best Screenplay winner plus FIPRESCI award winner)
Sudan: ستموت في العشرين You Will Die at 20, Amjad Abu Alala (#CinemaBiennale2019 Giornate degli Autori Lion of the Future - Luigui de Laurentiis award for a debut film winner)
Suriname: Wiren, Ivan Tai-Apin
Sweden: Charter, Amanda Kernell (2020 Sundance)
Switzerland: Schwesterlein (My Little Sister), Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond (#Berlinale2020 Competition)

Taiwan: 陽光普照 Yang guang pu zhao (A Sun), Chung Mong-hong
Thailand: ฮาวทูทิ้ง ทิ้งอย่างไรไม่ให้เหลือเธอ Happy Old Year, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit (#IFFR2020)
Tunisia: الرجل الذي باع ظهره The Man Who Sold His Skin, Kaouther Ben Hania (#BiennaleCinema2020 Orizzonti Best Actor and Edipo Re Award winner)
Turkey: 7. Koğuştaki Mucize (Miracle in Cell No. 7), Mehmet Ada Öztekin

Ukraine: Атлантиду Atlantis, Valentin Vasyanovich (#BiennaleCinema2019 Orizzonti Best Film award winner)
Uruguay: Alelí, Leticia Jorge
Uzbekistan: Faridaning Ikki Ming qo'shig'i (2000 Songs of Farida), Yalkin Tuychiev

Venezuela: Erase Una Vez en Venezuela, Congo Mirador (Once Upon a Time in Venezuela), Anabel Rodríguez Ríos (2020 Sundance - documentary)

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There is no doubt that much has changed since 2020 started and most of cinema related news have not been positive.  Spring film festivals were cancelled and yes, it was sad to see Cannes cancelled and sadder to see 50 films that were allowed to use the festival seal.  Most of us are really curious to see what's going to happen with Autumn film festivals and still are checking to see if Locarno gives us a clue about the future of film festivals living in a world of social distancing; but, believe Venice will be the one that could experiment with new ways to develop and produce large film festivals with all the necessary precautions for human well-being. 

Among the few positive news none is as interesting for World cinema but the confirmation that the Academy Awards will happen only 2 months later than usual.  Obviously my greatest interest is about world cinema and the recent renamed International Feature Film (IFF) category; can't help but wonder how many countries will submit this year as most probably have other priorities.
Still, hope that those countries with well-established cinema industry will participate even under the most unusual life circumstances. Since early July started to check trying to see if there were news about IFF category and until today there were a few countries like Romania, Poland, Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, Colombia and Costa Rica requesting for submissions.  It is today, August 10, when the first country announces their submission and even if was scheduled for August 11th, Poland released the news a day earlier than published by the Polish Film Institute article.

Before starting the list lets review the schedule as dates have changed.  The Oscars show will be on Sunday, April 25, 2021; Oscars Shortlists (including IFF Shortlist of 10) will be announced on Tuesday, February 9, 2021; and, Nominations will be announced on Monday, March 15, 2021. 

Worth mentioning that so-called Specialty Categories (Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, International Feature Film, Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film) have the same December 1st deadline date while general entry categories deadline is January 15, 2021.   Qualifying period moves from usual 12 months to 14 months and goes from January 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021.

So, for post main purpose interest, deadline for International Feature Film Submissions is December 1st, 2020.   Category film screening eligibility goes from no earlier than October 1st, 2019 to no later than December 31, 2020.

There are quite a few changes in Rule Thirteen and perhaps notorious ones are as follows, one that eases theatrical exhibition and allows films to qualify with screenings outside the country of origin BUT provided film is theatrical exhibited outside USA and its territories for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for paid admission. 

Another explains that film participation in an COVID-19 film festival's online/virtual platform will NOT affect a films' eligibility for awards consideration provided the festival has a transactional pay wall or password-protected entry.  It's amazing how cinema organizations still go out of their way to NOT include for consideration, what most people in the world did before and during the lockdown, watching film via streaming services. Sigh.  If I correctly understand Academy rules, no film released on Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Apple+, and a lot more streaming PAID services in the world, will qualify for consideration in the International Feature Film Oscars category.

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