Monday, August 10, 2020

93rd Academy Awards International Feature Film Submissions

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.

The List

Bhutan: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, Pawo Choyning Dorji

Ivory Coast: La Nuit des Rois (Night of the Kings), Philippe Lacôte (2020 Venice Horizons)

Poland: Śniegu już nigdy nie będzie (Never Gonna Snow Again), Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert (Venezia77 competition)

Switzerland: Schwesterlein (My Little Sister), Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond (Berlinale 2020 Competition)

Check info and available trailers @MOC

Check available posters at Pinterest


Canada: deadline September 25
Colombia: Deadline-August 14; announcement-November 16, 2020
Costa Rica: deadline October 1
Denmark: Shortlist of 3 on October 20; Selection on November 17
Georgia: Selection on October 10
Hungary: Selection in November
Romania: submission deadline October 5,  selection on November 2
Slovenia: deadline November 10
Spain: Long list with 58 films; shortlist with 3 on October 6; selection on November 3
South Africa: submission deadline is October 12
Ukraine: deadline September 8. Shortlist with 3 films on September 10, selection September 24

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