Thursday, October 14, 2010

Playing with country submissions to the Foreign Language Film

Finally today the Academy released the official list with 65 films that can be considered as ONE of the best films produced in each country and since a few days ago I been thinking about using the list as a database to play a little for fun.

Here is me dissecting the long list for useful and useless data.

Women Filmmakers

With the absence of Afghanistan announced submission, there are ONLY eight (8) films directed by women, which means that ONLY 12.3% of honored directors are women. That’s TERRIBLE!!! Not much happened around the world after and because last year a woman won (for the first time ever) the Oscar for Best Director and her film won the top award.

Countries with films directed or co directed by women: Austria, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, India, Nicaragua, Norway, and Switzerland.


Doing a very “scientific research” I used the huge blog database and did a search for each of the 65 films. To my surprise almost half, exactly 47.7%,of the movies come from festivals that are listed in this blog. In this year list there are 31 films that have been at festivals since 2007 when the film submitted by Egypt was a project at Locarno, continuing with 7 films that were in 2009 festivals and 23 that were in 2010 festivals. We can say that when films travel the festival circuit they have some good chance of becoming a country submission to the Oscars.

Cannes is the festival that showcases more films that countries select to submit to Oscars; this year there are four (4) that got its premiere at 2009 Cannes and eight (8) screened at 2010 Cannes for a grand total of 12 films coming from this prestigious festival, or 18.4% of the 65 films. These are the countries that submitted films from Cannes

2009 Certain Regard: Greece, Portugal
2009 Quinzaine: Austria, Bulgaria
2010 Cannes
Main Selection: Thailand, Algeria, France, Mexico
Certain Regard: South Africa, Argentina
Quinzaine: Kyrgyzstan, Belgium

But if Cannes has a good presence in this year Foreign Language Film submissions also the Berlin Film Festival or Berlinale has a significant presence with 6 films or 9.2% of 65 films. Just these two festivals represent almost a third of the submitted films or 27.6%

The other 13 films come from other festivals like La Biennale, Locarno, Rotterdam, San Sebastian, Moscow, Montreal, Guadalajara and Pula. I don’t doubt that from the other 34 films that are not listed in this blog, some were also screened in festivals but that’s something we will not know for sure this year as I know that I haven’t covered many festivals during my long hiatus from posting at the blog. The following is the list of festivals and countries that submitted films to be considered at the 83rd Academy Awards.

2010 Berlinale (6): Turkey, Romania, Germany, Colombia, Czech Republic, Iraq
2010 Biennale (3): Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile
Locarno (2): 2007 Egypt, 2010 Switzerland
2010 Rotterdam (2): Estonia, Georgia
San Sebastian (2): 2009 Peru, 2010 Uruguay
2010 Moscow International Film Festival (1): Venezuela
2010 Montreal World Film Festival (1): Kazakhstan
2009 Guadalajara (1): Nicaragua
2009 Pula Film Festival (1): Croatia

Unfortunately have to stop here today, but maybe another day will continue dissecting the list to find that -for example- films produced and co produced by France production companies have the largest representation in the list (or maybe is another country like Germany).

If you have something that you wish to find from this list of films please let me know and gladly will try to find whatever is possible to find.


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