Will a European film actually win an international Oscar this year? | Features

Europe regularly receives nominations in the International Feature Film category of the Academy Awards, and has had mixed luck lately when it comes to winning the prestigious Academy Award. Indeed, the comedic drama of Thomas Winterberg Another round It is the only winner from the continent in the past five years, when the Danish film took home the award in 2021.

Europe dominated the shortlist for the International Feature Film category for the Academy Awards in 2022 with 10 of the 15 films, and also took home three of the five finalists: Jonas Boher Rasmussen’s Danish animated film; run awayNorwegian comedy-drama Joachim Trier The worst person in the world and the Italian autobiographical feature Paolo Sorrentino God’s hand. At night, everyone lost to Japan driving my car By Ryusuke Hamaguchi.

Several contenders from Europe are strongly favored for nominations in 2023, and have a realistic chance of competing for the prize. At press time, 40 countries from Europe have submitted entries in the International Feature Film category, down slightly from 41 last year. Russia did not make a film, as Moscow’s cultural isolation deepens in the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine. This is the first time Russia has boycotted the film awards since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

festival factor


This year’s Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Sundance festivals have fielded many of Europe’s strongest Oscar contenders.

It was Lukas Dhont’s launching pad Close for belgium. The story of two children whose friendship is tragically broken, the film shared the Grand Prix with Claire Denis The stars at noon. Like many of the titles previewed here, Close It will also compete in the 2023 Bafta equivalent category for films that are not in the English language by virtue of just-in-time distribution in the UK – via Mubi in the case of Dhont.

France also competes in both the BAFTAs and the Oscars Saint Omar, the first feature film from documentary filmmaker Alice Diop. Winner of the Venice Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize, the story is about a young novelist who follows the trial of a Senegalese immigrant accused of killing her daughter.

France is hoping the film will break a 30-year barren streak in the Oscar’s international feature film category (formerly known as Best Foreign Language Film). Saint Omar It was selected by a recently revamped French selection committee, which considered a shortlist of titles that included Mia Hansen-Love’s beautiful morningAlice Winokur Paris memoriesEric Gravel full time Lise Akoka and Romain Guerrett the worst.

The impetus for the renewal of the French selection committee was Julia Ducournau’s Palme d’Or win Titan He won the coveted submission slot last time…and then failed to make the 15 shortlist.

The area may get attention with the numbers indicating that in addition to Saint OmarOf the 93 films submitted for the best international feature category, 22 are French co-productions and four are entirely or a majority of French films. These include entries from Japan, Cambodia, Turkey, Austria, Portugal, Algeria, Denmark, and more.

Ali Abbasi Holy spider – Based on the real-life story of an Iranian serial killer of sex workers in the holy city of Mashhad, and following a journalistic story investigating the murders – She won Best Actress for Zar Amir Ebrahimi at Cannes and is a 2023 Danish International Entry (see Conversation, pg. 20). The area has been on a hot streak at the Oscars in recent years: It’s Submission 2022 run away He received a nomination after Vinterberg won the Another round. In all, Denmark has four wins and 10 other nominations.

Other Cannes award winners this year who have been put up to compete for the Oscar include Jerzy Skolimowski. EO For Poland, Marie Kreutzer corsage For Austria and Tariq Saleh Cairo conspiracy (formerly known as boy from heaven) for Sweden.

Among the cast includes Isabelle Huppert, EO Follows the life of a donkey from a Polish circus to an Italian slaughterhouse. The drama, which premiered at Cannes, won the Jury Prize (awarded jointly with Felix van Groningen and Charlotte VanderMeersch Eight Mountains). Poland has won an Academy Award once, in 2015 with Pawel Pawlikowski Idaand was nominated 11 times out of 57 submissions – the first nomination in 1964 for Roman Polanski knife in the water.

Historical drama corsage It premiered at Un Certain Regard in Cannes, winning Best Performance by Vicky Krebs as the nineteenth-century Empress Elisabeth of Austria who, at the age of forty, begins to rebel against her public image. The film won Best Film at the BFI London Film Festival in October. Austria has twice won the International Award for Film Features – Michael Haneke Award Amour in 2013 and Stefan Ruzowitzky’s imitators In 2008 – and received two more nominations.

A political thriller set in Cairo Cairo conspiracy (issued as boy from heaven In some regions) – about a fisherman’s son thrown into a brutal power struggle between Egypt’s religious and political elite – premiered in competition in Cannes, where it won best screenplay. Sweden’s most recent candidacy came in 2018 for Ruben Ostlund Square While Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander The last winner was in 1984.

Family drama finds favour

The quiet girl

Among the other competitors who made their competition debut was Mario Marton Nostalgia for the past For Italy, which is set in the director’s hometown of Naples and stars Pierfrancesco Favino as a man who returns to his roots after four decades of absence. She has won 11 titles under consideration by the Italian selection committee, including Susanna Nicciarelli Kiara And the jury prize winner was Eight Mountains.

Italia God’s hand I reached the nomination stage last time around and Great beauty (also Sorrentino) won in 2014.

Carla Simon Alkarras He looks like a contender, having picked up the Golden Bear award at the Berlinale. The Spanish Submission — about a family of Catalan peach growers whose lives are changed when their landlord dies and his heir has other plans for the land — is Simon’s second feature, after 2017’s. Summer 1993.

Spain has four wins and an additional 16 international Academy Award nominations under its belt, with Pedro Almodóvar winning the award. Pain and glory Its last nominee, in 2020, is Alejandro Amenabar the sea inside Last winner in 2005.

Irish language drama The quiet girl (An Cailín Ciún) – and likewise the family-focused film and Berlinale 2022 entrant – is a strong entry for Ireland. Writer/director Colm Baird’s debut is the highest-grossing Irish film of all time worldwide, and the first to gross over €1 million ($1.02 million) at the UK and Ireland box offices. The film won Best Film at the Generation Kplus strand in Berlin, and eight awards at the Irish Film and Television Awards, including Best Film.

Michael Koch piece of heaven (Dre WinterSwitzerland has a Special Mention from the International Jury at the Berlinale, where it played in the competition. Set in a remote Alpine village, Koch’s second film centers on a newly married country wife’s attempts to deal with her husband’s increasingly erratic behavior after he is diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Switzerland has won two international Oscars: Richard Dembo dangerous moves in 1985 and Xavier Koller Journey of hope in 1991.

Ally Haapasalo girl image She is a competitor to Finland, having won the Audience Award in the field of World Motion Picture Drama at Sundance. The story of three teenage girls whose encounter sparks first love and new desires. girl image It is Finland’s thirty-fifth submission to the International Excellence Award. She hasn’t won yet, but she did get a nomination in 2003 with Aki Kaurismaki man without a pastand, last year, Juho Kuosmanen Room number 6 Make the shortlist.

There may be a gentle wind behind the premiere of Sundance’s first film, Maryna Er Gorbach Klondike for Ukraine. A festival favourite, Gorbach’s war drama has won the Direction Award in Sundance’s World Film Drama section, the Panorama Award in Berlin and Best Director in Sarajevo, just to name a few. The Ukraine-Turkey co-production follows a family living on the border between Ukraine and Russia during the conflict with Russia that began in 2014.

Likewise, Edward Berger who is set to attract attention is All Quiet on the Western Front. The first German-language adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic anti-war novel published in 1928, this World War I drama was chosen from a selection of nine films to fly Germany’s flag. Netflix supported and distributed the film, which premiered in Toronto. The original English-language version won the Oscar for Best Picture and Director in 1931.

Norway also put out a big budget war drama. Gunnar Ficken war sailor (craigslerine) The country’s most expensive film ever, it follows two Norwegian civilian sailors who find themselves in danger during World War II. war sailor It had its world premiere at the Haugesund Norwegian International Film Festival in August, where it won the Audience Award, and was shown as part of Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema section.

Submitting Norway for 2022 was a global hit for Joachim Trier The worst person in the worldmaking it both the Oscar and BAFTA nomination stages.

The best of the Balkans


There are a number of promising films from the Balkans. Teona Strogar Mitevska The happiest man in the world For Macedonia, this is the second time a director has submitted it to the Academy Awards – after 2008 I’m from Titov Veles — and follows two forty-somethings who begin dating; One is looking for love and the other is looking for redemption for his past. The movie premiered at Venice Horizons this year MonitorIts reviewer called it “a hugely solid, expertly crafted piece that sticks right from the start”.

Aida Pejic SongFor Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the fourth submission by a Bosnian director to the Oscar category – after 2008 snow2012 Sarajevo children and 2018 never leave me. Song It follows a 30-year-old woman who comes home after a divorce and auditions for a neighborhood movie shoot. It premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival, where it competed for Best Film, but lost to Juraj Lerotic’s Safe placewhich is Croatia’s entry in the Academy Award.

Bosnia and Herzegovina won the International Academy Award in 2002 with Danis Tanovic wasteland It received a 2021 Zbanek Award nomination Quo Vadis, Aida?; Croatia has never been nominated.

Ion Burse carbonAnd the For Moldova is a black comedy set in the 1990s that follows two friends who find a carburetor’s body and embark on an unusual wilderness journey to investigate his identity. The country’s third-ever Oscar at the New Directors Series was presented in San Sebastian this year, after winning the European Industry Webb Award at the festival in 2021.

A regular participant in this award despite being the home of the English language, the United Kingdom has presented Hassan Nazir winners. Set in a small Iranian village, the film follows two children who discover a golden statue and go on an adventure to find its owner. It had its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award. winners Selected by the BAFTA Selection Committee; Any UK advantage that is predominantly a non-English language is eligible. Previous British films submitted for the category include the Chloe Fairweather documentary Dying for a divorceChewell Ejiofor The boy who harnessed the windRungano Nyuni I’m not a witchSarmad Masoud My pure landBabak Anvari under shade and Sean Ellis Metro Manila.

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