2019/2020 Key Dates
Film Critics Update: Today, January 14 - Winners from Denver FCS.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

92nd Academy Awards International Feature Film Submissions


November 12 Update

Seems yesterday Monday, November 11, the Academy notified the Austrian selection committee their verdict regarding the Austrian submission, Joy by Sudabeh Mortezai and it's bad news as AMPAS claims film dialogue is only 33% non-English.

So it's the second disqualification and perhaps there could be more as news mention AMPAS is currently in the process of reviewing all the films submitted for current edition.

With this disqualification tally goes down to ninety-one (91), one below the record established two years ago.

Just noticed from the list below that there are 3 films strikethrough, two are disqualifications and one was not in AMPAS published list, but what's remarkable is that all three films are directed by female directors! I'm sure is just a coincidence but can't help from imagining the worst scenario, lol.

November 6 Update
Nigeria submission, Lionheart, has been disqualified as film is predominantly in English.  Yes, saw movie in Netflix and was expecting its disqualification because rule 13 clearly states:

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.

Surprised with the many negative reactions via social media but imagine complainers are not familiar with submission rules.

So, tally goes down to ninety-two (92) countries with approved films and no, it's not a record as is the same amount than two years ago.  Sigh.

October 8 Update
Yesterday AMPAS released this year official list and is not surprising that there are several discrepancies with what was announced in the past two-three months.

According to the Academy ninety-three (93) countries submitted films for consideration and yes, it's a new record as there is one more nation than two years ago.  But first let me go into lists comparison to determine the changes.

Only one country, Afghanistan, is out of the list as was already known that Uganda did not submit a film; so, there are five new nations: China, Honduras, Malaysia, Mongolia and UK.  Math says, up-to-yesterday there where 89 entries minus one (Afghanistan) is 88 plus 5 is 93! Now I'm 100% sure that list has all the nations with submission.

Earlier this year, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted to rename the Foreign Language Film category to International Feature Film.  An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (more than 40 minutes) produced outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.   Ghana, Nigeria and Uzbekistan are first-time entrants.

To check official press release go here.

The Academy also voted to expand the shortlist from 9 to 10 films;  the shortlist of 10 films will be announced on Monday, December 16, 2019 and all Oscars nominations on Monday, January 13, 2020.  The awards show will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020.

Female directors are in BLUE and as every year include film credentials in major world film festivals. As always if you wish to read submission announcement in the original language or in English in trade sites go to my pinterest here.

The List

Afghanistan: حوا، مریم، عایشه Hava, Maryam, Ayesha, Sahraa Karimi (#Venezia76 Orizzonti)
Albania: Delegacioni (The Delegation), Bujar Alimani
Algeria: بابيشة Papicha, Mounia Meddour, (#Cannes2019 Un Certain Regard)
Argentina: La Odisea de los Giles (Heroic Losers), Sebastián Borensztein (2019 San Sebastián Competition)
Armenia: Էրկեն Կիշեր Erken Kisher (Lengthy Night), Edgar Baghdasaryan
Australia: Buoyancy, Rodd Rathjen (#Berlinale2019 Panorama Ecumenical Jury Award winner)
Austria: Joy, Sudabeh Mortezai (#BiennaleCinema2018 Giornate degli Autori Label Europa Cinemas award and Hearst Film Award-Best Female Director award winner)

Bangladesh: আলফা Alpha, Nasiruddin Yousuff
Belarus: Дебют Debut, Anastasiya Miroshnichenko (documentary)
Belgium: Nuestras Madres (Our Mothers), César Díaz (#Cannes2019 Camera d'Or and Semaine de la Critique SACD Award winner)
Bolivia: Tu me manques, Rodrigo Bellott 
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sin (The Son), Ines Tanović (2019 Sarajevo opening film)
Brazil: A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão (The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão), Karim Aïnouz (#Cannes2019 Un Certain Regard Award winner)
Bulgaria: Áга (Aga), Milko Lazarov (2018 Sarajevo Heart of Sarajevo for Best Feature Film award winner)

Cambodia: តន្ត្រី​ជីវិត In the Life of Music, Caylee So and Sok Visal
Canada: Antigone, Sophie Deraspe
Chile: Araña (Spider), Andrés Wood (2019 San Sebastián Horizontes Latinos)
China: 哪吒之魔童降世 Nézhā zhī Mótóng Jiàngshì (Ne Zha), Yu Yang (animation)
Colombia: Monos, Alejandro Landes  (#Berlinale2019 Panorama)
Costa Rica: El Despertar de las Hormigas (The Awakening of the Ants), Antonella Sudassasi (#Berlinale2019 Forum)
Croatia: Mali, Antonio Nuić
Cuba: Un Traductor (A Translator), Rodrigo and Sebastián Barriuso
Czech Republic: Nabarvené ptáče (The Painted Bird), Václav Marhoul (#Venezia76 Competition, Cinema for Unicef award winner)

Denmark: Dronningen (Queen of Hearts), May el-Toukhy (2019 Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award winner)
Dominican Republic:  El Proyecccionista (The Projectionist), José María Cabral

Ecuador: La Mala Noche (The Longest Night), Gabriela Calvache
Egypt: ورد مسموم Ward Masmoum (Poisonous Roses),  Fawzi Saleh (2018 Rotterdam)
Estonia: Tõde ja õigus (Truth and Justice), Tanel Toom
Ethiopia: የንፋሱ ፍልሚያ Yenifasu Filmya (Running Against the Wind), Jan Philipp Weyl

Finland: Hölmö nuori sydän (Stupid Young Heart), Selma Vilhunen (#Berlinale2019 Generation 14plus Crystal Bear for Best Film award winner)
France: Les Misérables, Ladj Ly (#Cannes2019 Jury Prize winner)

Georgia: შინდისი Shindisi, Dimitri Tsintsadze
Germany: Systemsprenger (System Crasher), Nora Fingscheidt (#Berlinale2019 Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize winner)
Ghana: Azali (Fate), Kwabena Gyansah
Greece: Όταν ο Βάγκνερ Συνάντησε τις Ντομάτες Otan o Wagner Sinantise tis Ntomates (When Tomatoes Met Wagner), Marianna Economou (documentary) (#Berlinale2019 Culinary Cinema)

Honduras: Café con Sabor a mi Tierra (Blood, Passion, and Coffee), Carlos Membreño
Hong Kong: 扫毒2 天地对决 So duk 2: Tin dei duei kuet (The White Storm 2: Drug Lords), Herman Yau
Hungary: Akik maradtak (Those Who Remained), Barnabás Tóth

Iceland: Hvítur, hvítur dagur (A White, White Day), Hlynur Pálmason (#Cannes2019 Semaine de la Critique Rising Star Award winner)
India: गली बॉय Gully Boy, Zoya Akhtar (#Berlinale2019 Special Gala)
Indonesia: Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku (Memories of My Body),  Garin Nugroho (Venezia75 Orizzonti Queer Lion Competition)
Iran: در جستجوی فریده Finding Farideh, Azadeh Moussavi and Kourosh Ataee (documentary)
Ireland: Gaza, Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell (documentary)
Israel: ימים נוראים Yamim Noraim (Incitement), Yaron Zilberman
Italy: Il Traditore (The Traitor), Marco Bellocchio (#Cannes2019 Competition)

Japan: 天気の子 Tenki no Ko (Weathering With You), Makoto Shinkai (anime)

Kazakhstan: қазақ хандығының алтын тесігі Kazakh Khanate - Golden Throne, Rustem Abdrashev
Kenya: Subira, Ravneet Sippy Chadha
Kosovo: Zana, Antoneta Kastrati
Kyrgyzstan: Aurora, Bekzat Pirmatov

Latvia: Tēvs Nakts (The Mover), Dāvis Sīmanis (2018 MoscowIFF Competiton)
Lebanon: 1982, Oualid Mouaness (2019 TorontoIFF NETPAC Award winner)
Lithuania: Laiko tiltai (Bridges of Time), Kristine Briede and Audrius Stonys (documentary) (2018 Karlovy Vary Documentary Competition)
Luxembourg: תל אביב על האש Tel Aviv Al Ha'Esh (Tel Aviv On Fire), Sameh Zoabi (#Venezia75 Orizzonti Best Actor award and Iterfilm award winner)

Malaysia: M untuk Malaysia (M for Malaysia), Dian Lee and Ineza Roussille (documentary)
Mexico: La Camarista (The Chambermaid), Lila Avilés (2018 San Sebastián New Directors)
Mongolia: Хийморь The Steed, Erdenebileg Ganbold
Montenegro: Između dana i noći ( Neverending Past), Andro Martinovic
Morocco: آدم Adam, Maryam Touzani (#Cannes2019 Un Certain Regard)

Nepal: बुलबुल Bulbul, Binod Paudel
Netherlands: Instinct, Halina Reijn (#Locarno 2019 Variety Piazza Grande Award winner)
Nigeria: Lionheart, Genevieve Nnaji
North Macedonia: Медена земја Medena Zemja (Honeylad), Tamara Kotevsk and Ljubomir Stefanov (documentary) (2019 Sundance multiple award winner)
Norway: Ut og stjæle hester (Out Stealing Horses), Hans Petter Moland (#Berlinale2019 Silver Bear for Outstanding Contribution in Cinematography award winner)

Pakistan:لال کبوتر Laal Kabootar, Kamal Khan
Palestine: It Must Be Heaven, Elia Suleiman (#Cannes2019 In Competition-Best Screenplay Jury Special Mention)
Panama: Todos Cambiamos (Everybody Changes), Arturo Montenegro
Peru: Retablo, Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio (#Berlinale2018 Generation 14 plus Crystal Bear for Best Film Special Mention and Teddy for Newcomer Award winner)
Philippines: Verdict, Raymond Ribay Gutierrez (#Venezia76 Orizzonti Special Jury Prize award winner)
Poland: Boże Ciało (Corpus Christi), Jan Komasa (#Venezia76 Giornate degli Autori Europa Cinemas Label and Edipo Re awards winner)
Portugal: A Herdade (The Domain), Tiago Guedes (#Venezia76 Bisato d'Oro Best Director award winner)

Romania: La Gomera (The Whistlers), Corneliu Porumboiu (#Cannes2019 In Competition)
Russia: Дылда Dylda (Beanpole), Kantemir Balagov (#Cannes2019 Un Certain Regard Best Director award, and FIPRESCI UCR award winner - Queer Palm Competition)

Saudi Arabia: المرشحة المثالية The Perfect Candidate, Haifaa al-Mansour (#Venezia76 Competition)
Senegal: Atlantique (Atlantics), Mati Diop (#Cannes2019 Grand Prix winner)
Serbia: Kralj Petar Prvi (King Petar The Frist), Petar Ristovski
Singapore: #幻土 Huan tu (A Land Imagined), Yeo Siew Hua (#Locarno2018 Pardo d'oro award winner)
Slovakia: Nech je svetio (Let There Be Light), Marko Škop (2019 Karlovy Vary Best Actor Award winner and Ecumenical Jury Award Special Mention)
Slovenia: Zgodovina ljubezni (History of Love), Sonja Prosenc (2018 Karlovy Vary Special Jury Mention winner)
South Africa: Knuckle City, Jahmil X.T. Qubeka
South Korea: 기생충 Gisaengchoong (Parasite), Bong Joon-ho (#Cannes2019 Palme d'Or winner)
Spain: Dolor y Gloria (Pain and Glory), Pedro Almodóvar (#Cannes2019 Best Actor award and Disque d'Or for Best Composer award winner)
Sweden: And Then We Danced, Levan Akin (#Cannes2019 Quinzaine, Queer Palm competition)
Switzerland: Wolkenbruch (Wolkenbruch's Wonderous Journey Into the Arms of a Schickse), Michael Steiner

Taiwan: 誰先愛上他的 Dear Ex, Mag Hsu and Chih-yen Hsu
Thailand: แสงกระสือ Saeng Krasue (Krause: Inhuman Kiss), Sitisiri Mongkolsiri
Tunisia: ولدي Weldi (Dear Son), Mohamed Ben Attia (#Cannes2018 Quinzaine)
Turkey: Bağlılık Aslı (Commitment Asli), Semith Kaplanoğlu

Uganda: Kony Order from Above, Steve T.  Ayeny
Ukraine: Додому Evge (Homeward), Nariman Aliev, Ukraine (#Cannes2019 Un Certain Regard)
United Kingdom: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Chiwetel Ejiofor (#Berlinale2019 Special Gala)
Uruguay: Así Habló El Cambista (The Moneychanger), Federico Veiroj
Uzbekistan: Issiq Non (Hot Bread), Umid Khamdamov

Venezuela: Yo, Imposible (Being Impossible), Patricia Ortega 
Vietnam: Hai Phượng (Furie), Le Van Kiet

Check info and available trailers @MOC
Check film posters here



October 5 Update
Ireland announces submission.  There are eighty-nine (89) entries; but as stated in comments there could be a couple of films with too-much English, so now there are more films in possible jeopardy.  More and more likely, list will get shorter.

New Update: Nigeria submits its first ever entry. Now there are eighty-eight (88) entries.

October 2, 2019 Update
Yesterday at 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time (Los Angeles time zone) was the deadline for AMPAS to receive submissions to the newly named International Feature Film category.

Today and up-to-this-moment eighty-seven (87) nations have released info about the film they chose to represent them.  Next step is the Academy releasing the list of accepted films which used to be out within 15 days but last year was released within 7 days, imagine this year could be more likely an early announcement.  When list becomes available will update list to become final.

If all in below list submissions are accepted then last year's number of submissions will be match but previous year, 2018, record of 92 films will not be match nor surpassed. 

But, as we have learned through previous the years, there are some countries that do not produce a press release announcement and their choice is learned only in AMPAS list; best example is China.  So we could expect more nations with submissions and acceptance by AMPAS as still today countries like Burkina Faso, Nigeria, New Zealand, Iraq and a few others have not become part of the list.  My best estimate is that to have four to five more films.

Then we have to consider those that could not be accepted as usually there is one or two films that disappear from compilation.  This year we have Algeria submission incident that could jeopardize its acceptance and Luxembourg submission that has too-much buzz as being more an Israel film than a Luxembourg film.

My feeling regarding Luxembourg submission is that nowadays is too-hard to say which country "owns" a film as there are more and more films produced with money and resources from several countries.  Went back to check AMPAS rule 13 and perhaps Luxembourg trouble will not be in the International Feature Film definition but in which country has more "creative control"; in this case film could be in trouble as generally creative control should be in director's hands but more often is in producer's decisions.  So, we will find what happens soon.

I'm interested in Luxembourg case as I find it rather similar to Belgium's submission as do wonder who had the creative control, Belgium's producers or Guatemalan director?  Yes, many of us were expecting Belgium submission to be Guatemala entry; so, was a huge unexpected "surprise".  In any case there are three films that could have something that could not satisfy AMPAS requirements.

If there are four or five still missing and three with possible problem then no matter how we analyze it, there is no way to match the 92 entries record. Sigh.

Anyway it will be after AMPAS releases their acceptance list that will comment on films in this year's submissions to newly labeled International Feature Film category.

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August 21, 2019 Update

As of this moment there are seven (7) nations with a submission to #Oscars2020 Best International Feature Film category.

From now on news will start to transform from drops into a flood of submissions as we all hope this year there will be as many films as in 2019 (87) if not more.

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7/10/19

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.

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7/10/19
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.

Submission to AMPAS deadline is by 5:00pm PST on Tuesday, October 1st, 2019.  

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