International Feature Film

“Drive My Car” from Japan, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, won the Oscar for best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards. It was Japan’s fifth win in the category, and first since “Departures” in 2008.

“Drive My Car” was  the fourteenth nomination for Japan. Previous nominations were for Harp of Burma (1956), Immortal Love (1961), Twin Sisters of Kyoto (1963), Woman in the Dunes (1964), Kwaidan (1965), Portrait of Chieko (1967), Dodes’ka-Den (1971), Sandakan No. 8 (1975), Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior) (1980), Muddy River (1981), The Twilight Samurai (2003), Departures (2008), which won the award, and Shoplifters (2018).

Prior to the establishment of a regular award category in 1956, Japan received three Honorary Foreign Language Film Awards for Rashomon (1951), Gate of Hell (1954) and Samurai, The Legend of Musashi (1955).

Ryusuke Hamaguchi accepts the Oscar for International Feature during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, 27 March.

Ninety-three countries submitted films that were eligible for consideration in the International Feature Film category for the 94th Academy Awards, the same number as submitted for the 93rd and 92nd Academy Awards.

An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (more than 40 minutes) produced outside the United States with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track.  Somalia is a first-time entrant.

Academy members from all branches are invited to opt in to participate in the preliminary round of voting and must meet a minimum viewing requirement to be eligible to vote in the category.

The five nominated films for the 94th Academy Awards were:

Drive My Car (Japan) Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi. – This is the fourteenth nomination for Japan. Previous nominations were for Harp of Burma (1956), Immortal Love (1961), Twin Sisters of Kyoto (1963), Woman in the Dunes (1964), Kwaidan (1965), Portrait of Chieko (1967), Dodes’ka-Den (1971), Sandakan No. 8 (1975), Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior) (1980), Muddy River (1981), The Twilight Samurai (2003), Departures (2008), which won the award, and Shoplifters (2018). Prior to the establishment of a regular award category in 1956, Japan received three Honorary Foreign Language Film Awards for Rashomon (1951), Gate of Hell (1954) and Samurai, The Legend of Musashi (1955).

Flee (Denmark Directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen – This is the fourteenth nomination for Denmark. It has won four Oscars: for Babette’s Feast (1987), Pelle the Conqueror (1988), In a Better World (2010) and last year’s Another Round (2020). Other nominations were for Qivitoq (1956), Paw (1959), Harry and the Butler (1961), Waltzing Regitze (1989), After the Wedding (2006), A Royal Affair (2012), The Hunt (2013), A War (2015) and Land of Mine (2016).

The Hand of God (Italy) Directed by Paolo Sorrentino – This is the twenty-ninth nomination for Italy. It has won the award eleven times: for La Strada (1956), The Nights of Cabiria (1957), Federico Fellini’s 81⁄2 (1963), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1964), Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion (1970), The Garden of the Finzi Continis (1971), Amarcord (1974), Cinema Paradiso (1989), Mediterraneo (1991), Life Is Beautiful (1998) and The Great Beauty (2013). Prior to the establishment of a regular award category in 1956, Italy also received three Special/Honorary Awards, for Shoe-Shine (1947), The Bicycle Thief (1949) and The Walls of Malapaga (1950) [shared with France]. Other nominations were for The Usual Unidentified Thieves (1958), The Great War (1959), Kapo (1960), The Four Days of Naples (1962), Marriage Italian Style (1965), The Battle of Algiers (1966), The Girl with the Pistol (1968), Scent of a Woman (1975), Seven Beauties (1976), A Special Day (1977), Viva Italia! (1978), To Forget Venice (1979), Three Brothers (1981), The Family (1987), Open Doors (1990), The Star Maker (1995) and Don’t Tell (2005).

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan) Directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji – This is the first nomination for Bhutan.

The Worst Person in the World (Norway) Directed by Joachim Trier. This is the sixth nomination for Norway. Previous nominations were for Nine Lives (1957), Pathfinder (1987), The Other Side of Sunday (1996), Elling (2001) and Kon-Tiki (2012).

The shortlist of 15 films announced on Tuesday, 21 December 2021 were in alphabetical order by country, are:

Austria, “Great Freedom”
Belgium, “Playground”
Bhutan, “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”
Denmark, “Flee”
Finland, “Compartment No. 6”
Germany, “I’m Your Man”
Iceland, “Lamb”
Iran, “A Hero”
Italy, “The Hand of God”
Japan, “Drive My Car”
Kosovo, “Hive”
Mexico, “Prayers for the Stolen”
Norway, “The Worst Person in the World”
Panama, “Plaza Catedral”
Spain, “The Good Boss”

 

The full list of the 93 films submitted were:

  1. Albania, “Two Lions to Venice”
  2. Algeria, “Heliopolis”
  3. Argentina, “The Intruder”
  4. Armenia, “Should the Wind Drop”
  5. Australia, “When Pomegranates Howl”
  6. Austria, “Great Freedom”
  7. Azerbaijan, “The Island Within”
  8. Bangladesh, “Rehana”
  9. Belgium, “Playground”
  10. Bhutan, “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”
  11. Bolivia, “The Great Movement”
  12. Bosnia and Herzegovina, “The White Fortress”
  13. Brazil, “Private Desert”
  14. Bulgaria, “Fear”
  15. Cambodia, “White Building”
  16. Cameroon, “Hidden Dreams”
  17. Canada, “Drunken Birds”
  18. Chad, “Lingui, The Sacred Bonds”
  19. Chile, “White on White”
  20. China, “Cliff Walkers”
  21. Colombia, “Memoria”
  22. Costa Rica, “Clara Sola”
  23. Croatia, “Tereza37”
  24. Czech Republic, “Zátopek”
  25. Denmark, “Flee”
  26. Dominican Republic, “Holy Beasts”
  27. Ecuador, “Submersible”
  28. Egypt, “Souad”
  29. Estonia, “On the Water”
  30. Finland, “Compartment No. 6”
  31. France, “Titane”
  32. Georgia, “Brighton 4th”
  33. Germany, “I’m Your Man”
  34. Greece, “Digger”
  35. Haiti, “Freda”
  36. Hong Kong, “Zero to Hero”
  37. Hungary, “Post Mortem”
  38. Iceland, “Lamb”
  39. India, “Pebbles”
  40. Indonesia, “Yuni”
  41. Iran, “A Hero”
  42. Iraq, “Europa”
  43. Ireland, “Shelter”
  44. Israel, “Let It Be Morning”
  45. Italy, “The Hand of God”
  46. Japan, “Drive My Car”
  47. Jordan, “Amira”
  48. Kazakhstan, “Yellow Cat”
  49. Kenya, “Mission to Rescue”
  50. Kosovo, “Hive”
  51. Kyrgyzstan, “Shambala”
  52. Latvia, “The Pit”
  53. Lebanon, “Costa Brava, Lebanon”
  54. Lithuania, “Isaac”
  55. Luxembourg, “Io Sto Bene”
  56. Malawi, “Fatsani: A Tale of Survival”
  57. Malaysia, “Hail, Driver!”
  58. Malta, “Luzzu”
  59. Mexico, “Prayers for the Stolen”
  60. Montenegro, “After the Winter”
  61. Morocco, “Casablanca Beats”
  62. Netherlands, “Do Not Hesitate”
  63. North Macedonia, “Sisterhood”
  64. Norway, “The Worst Person in the World”
  65. Palestine, “The Stranger”
  66. Panama, “Plaza Catedral”
  67. Paraguay, “Nothing but the Sun”
  68. Peru, “Powerful Chief”
  69. Poland, “Leave No Traces”
  70. Portugal, “The Metamorphosis of Birds”
  71. Romania, “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn”
  72. Russia, “Unclenching the Fists”
  73. Saudi Arabia, “The Tambour of Retribution”
  74. Serbia, “Oasis”
  75. Singapore, “Precious Is the Night”
  76. Slovakia, “107 Mothers”
  77. Slovenia, “Sanremo”
  78. Somalia, “The Gravedigger’s Wife”
  79. South Africa, “Barakat”
  80. South Korea, “Escape from Mogadishu”
  81. Spain, “The Good Boss”
  82. Sweden, “Tigers”
  83. Switzerland, “Olga”
  84. Taiwan, “The Falls”
  85. Thailand, “The Medium”
  86. Tunisia, “Golden Butterfly”
  87. Turkey, “Commitment Hasan”
  88. Ukraine, “Bad Roads”
  89. United Kingdom, “Dying to Divorce”
  90. Uruguay, “The Broken Glass Theory”
  91. Uzbekistan, “2000 Songs of Farida”
  92. Venezuela, “The Inner Glow”
  93. Vietnam, “Dad, I’m Sorry

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The best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards was Thomas Vinterberg’s “Another Round” from Denmark, the country’s fourth win in the category. “Another Round”  was the thirteenth nomination for Denmark. It won back-to-back Oscars for “Babette’s Feast” (1987) and “Pelle the Conqueror” (1988), and won again for “In a Better World (2010)”. Other nominations were for Qivitoq (1956), Paw (1959), Harry and the Butler (1961), Waltzing Regitze (1989), After the Wedding (2006), A Royal Affair (2012), The Hunt (2013), A War (2015) and Land of Mine (2016).

The five nominated films for the 93rd Academy Awards were:

  • “Another Round” Denmark, Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
  • “Better Days” Hong Kong, Directed by Derek Kwok-cheung Tsang
  • “Collective” Romania, Directed by Alexander Nanau
  • “The Man Who Sold His Skin” Tunisia, Directed by Kaouther Ben Hania
  • “Quo Vadis, Aida?” Bosnia and Herzegovina, Directed by Jasmila Žbanić

The best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards was South Korea’s “Parasite” directed by Bong Joon Ho. It is the first to win since this category was renamed International Feature Film Award (previously Foreign Language Film) and was the first nomination for South Korea.

“Parasite” is also the first foreign language film to win “best picture” and also won the Academy Awards for best director (Bong Joon Ho), and best original screenplay (screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won; Story by Bong Joon Ho). It was also the first film to win both the Academy Award for “best picture” and the Cannes Palme d’Or since “Marty” in 1956. 

The five films nominated for best international feature film at the 92nd Academy awards were:

  • “Corpus Christi” Poland, Jan Komasa, director;
  • “Honeyland” North Macedonia, Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, directors;
  • “Les Misérables” France, Ladj Ly, director;
  • “Pain and Glory” Spain, Pedro Almodóvar, director;
  • “Parasite” South Korea, Bong Joon Ho, director.

Since 2020, the Foreign Language Film category name has been changed to International Feature Film.

An International Festure Film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track. Animated and documentary feature films are permitted.

International Festure Film nominations are determined in two phases:

  1. The Phase I All eligible Academy members are invited to participate in the preliminary round of voting.  Film submissions are made available through the Academy Screening Room streaming platform to those members who opt-in. These members of the International Feature Film Preliminary Voting committee must still meet a minimum viewing requirement in order to be eligible to vote in the category.This committee will make seven choices, that are augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s International Feature Film Award Executive Committee, to constitute the shortlist.
  2. The Phase II the International Feature Film Award Committee views the ten shortlisted films and votes by secret ballot to determine the category’s five nominees.
  3. Final voting for the International Feature Film Award is restricted to active and life Academy members who have viewed all five motion pictures nominated for the award.

“We have noted that the reference to ‘Foreign’ is outdated within the global filmmaking community,” commented on the name change 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.”