Oscar Best International Film shortlist revealed

Hive, Flee and Drive My Car among the contenders

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Paolo Sorrentino, director of the 86th Academy Awards winner The Great Beauty, has his latest The Hand Of God (a Netflix release) shortlisted for the 94th Academy Awards
Paolo Sorrentino, director of the 86th Academy Awards winner The Great Beauty, has his latest The Hand Of God (a Netflix release) shortlisted for the 94th Academy Awards Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

From Kosovo, Hive, Blerta Basholli director; Belgium, Playground, Laura Wandel director; Bhutan, Lunana: A Yak In The Classroom, Pawo Choyning Dorji director; Austria, Great Freedom, Sebastian Meise director; Germany, I’m Your Man, Maria Schrader director; Italy, The Hand Of God, Paolo Sorrentino director (also of the Oscar-winning The Great Beauty at the 86th Academy Awards); Japan, Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi director; Panama, Plaza Catedral, Abner Benaim director; Norway, The Worst Person In The World, Joachim Trier director; Iran, A Hero, Asghar Farhadi director; Spain, The Good Boss, Fernando León de Aranoa director; Denmark, Flee, Jonas Poher Rasmussen director; Mexico, Prayers For The Stolen, Tatiana Huezo director; Finland, Compartment No 6, Juho Kuosmanen director, and Iceland, Lamb, Valdimar Jóhannsson director are the 15 films selected for the International Feature Film shortlist.

Hive director Blerta Basholli with her star Yllka Gashi
Hive director Blerta Basholli with her star Yllka Gashi

Nora Martirosyan’s Should The Wind Drop from Armenia; Levan Koguashvili’s Brighton 4th from Georgia; Julia Ducournau’s Titane from France, and Kira Kovalenko’s Unclenching The Fists from Russia are notable omissions from this year’s shortlist.

For the 94th Academy Awards, the submitted motion pictures must be first released theatrically in their respective countries between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. A total of 93 countries submitted a film. Somalia submitted a film for the first time Khadar Ayderus Ahmed’s The Gravedigger's Wife, with Algeria (Djafar Gacem’s Héliopolis), Bhutan (Pawo Choyning Dorji’s Lunana: A Yak In The Classroom), and Uzbekistan (Yalkin Tuychiev’s 2000 Songs Of Farida) all resubmitting their films disqualified from last year's list. On December 6, 2021, the Academy confirmed the list of the 93 eligible films. Jordan withdrew their film Amira, directed by Mohamed Diab on December 9, 2021, leaving 92 eligible entries

The selection committees for Ghana, Nepal, and Pakistan all invited filmmakers to make submissions, but no films were sent. Nigeria announced they would not enter for lack of eligible submissions.

In April of 2019, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changed the Best Foreign Language Film category to Best International Feature Film.

Films submitted in the International Feature category may also qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture.

The final five nominees are scheduled to be announced on February 8, 2022. The 94th Academy Awards ceremony originally scheduled for Sunday, February 27 will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2022 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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