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OSCARS 2020

European (co-)productions dominate the International Feature Film Oscar shortlist

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- Pain and Glory, Les Misérables, Honeyland, Corpus Christi, Those Who Remained, Truth and Justice, The Painted Bird, Beanpole and co-production Atlantics are vying for the award

European (co-)productions dominate the International Feature Film Oscar shortlist
Pain and Glory by Pedro Almodóvar

After having closed the submission period for the International Feature Film category (formerly known as Foreign Language Film) in October, the 92nd Academy Awards has selected ten films that will advance to the next round of voting in the category. A record of 93 films had been submitted to the Academy (see the news).

This year, the Old Continent is dominating the shortlist: submissions from nine European countries have been selected. Pedro Almodóvar's Pain and Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antonio Banderas
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
, one of the year's biggest international hits and the new effort by a tireless maestro, leads the pack with the biggest chances to win the award, although it would have to beat the absolute frontrunner, Palme d'Or winner Parasite by Korea's Bong Joon-ho.

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Backing the veteran Spanish filmmaker, another eight European submissions have made the cut: Les Misérables [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ladj Ly
film profile
]
by France's Ladj Ly (awarded in Cannes with the Special Jury Prize, and recently named European Discovery at the European Film Awards), the documentary Honeyland [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara K…
interview: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir S…
film profile
]
by North Macedonia's Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov (winner of the Grand Jury Prize in Sundance's World Cinema Documentary Competition back in January, and awarded in several festivals since), Corpus Christi [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bartosz Bielenia
interview: Jan Komasa
film profile
]
by Poland's Jan Komasa (winner of the Europa Cinemas Label at Venice's Giornate degli Autori, and awarded in several festivals since), and rather surprisingly, the three period films coming from Hungary (Telluride-premiered Those Who Remained [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, directed by Barnabás Tóth), Estonia (Black Nights-screened Truth and Justice [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, by Tanel Toom) and the Czech Republic (The Painted Bird [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Václav Marhoul
film profile
]
, directed by Václav Marhoul, which premiered in Venice to much controversy).

Rounding off the selection is Russia's submission, the second feature by wunderkind Kantemir Balagov, Beanpole [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(awarded with the Best Director prize in Cannes' Un Certain Regard), and Senegal's submission, the first feature by French-Senegalese director Mati Diop, Atlantics [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mati Diop
film profile
]
(a co-production with France and Belgium, winner of the Grand Prix in Cannes).

The Academy has also announced the shortlist for Best Documentary Feature, which, although dominated by US titles, includes European titles such as the aforementioned Honeyland, Waad Al Khateab and Edward Watts' For Sama [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
film profile
]
(awarded in Cannes and at the European Film Awards), Victor Kossakovsky's Aquarela [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Victor Kossakovsky
film profile
]
 and Alex Holmes' Maiden [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, as well as co-productions The Cave [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Feras Fayyad and Advocate [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rachel Leah Jones, Lea Tsemel
film profile
]
by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche.

Here are the main feature-film shortlists that have just been announced:

Best International Feature Film

Czech Republic: The Painted Bird [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Václav Marhoul
film profile
]
 - Václav Marhoul (Czech Republic/Ukraine/Slovakia)
Estonia: Truth and Justice [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Tanel Toom (Estonia)
France: Les Misérables [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ladj Ly
film profile
]
- Ladj Ly (France)
Hungary: Those Who Remained [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Barnabás Tóth (Hungary)
North Macedonia: Honeyland [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara K…
interview: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir S…
film profile
]
- Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov (North Macedonia)
Poland: Corpus Christi [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bartosz Bielenia
interview: Jan Komasa
film profile
]
- Jan Komasa (Poland/France)
Russia: Beanpole [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Kantemir Balagov (Russia)
Senegal: Atlantics [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mati Diop
film profile
]
- Mati Diop (Senegal/France/Belgium)
South Korea: Parasite - Bong Joon-ho (South Korea)
Spain: Pain and Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antonio Banderas
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
- Pedro Almodóvar (Spain)

Best Documentary Feature

Advocate [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rachel Leah Jones, Lea Tsemel
film profile
]
- Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaïche (Israel/Canada/Switzerland)
American Factory - Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert (USA)
The Apollo - Roger Ross Williams (USA)
Apollo 11 - Todd Douglas Miller (USA)
Aquarela [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Victor Kossakovsky
film profile
]
- Victor Kossakovsky (UK/Germany)
The Biggest Little Farm - John Chester (USA)
The Cave [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Feras Fayyad (Syria/Denmark/Germany/USA/Qatar)
The Edge of Democracy - Petra Costa (Brazil)
For Sama [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
film profile
]
- Waad Al Khateab, Edward Watts (UK/USA)
The Great Hack - Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim (USA)
Honeyland - Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Knock Down the House - Rachel Lears (USA)
Maiden [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Alex Holmes (UK)
Midnight Family - Luke Lorentzen (Mexico)
One Child Nation - Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang (USA)

The final nominees for the Oscars will be revealed on 13 January 2020, and the awards ceremony will take place on 9 February in Los Angeles.

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