The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the animated, documentary, and international features eligible for Oscar consideration. Some of the animated and documentary contenders have not yet had their required qualifying release. Each of them must fulfill the requirement to advance in the voting process.

Two Iranian documentaries, ‘Coup 53,’ directed by Taqi Amirani, and ‘The Art of Living in Danger,’ directed by Mina Keshavarz, were qualified to take part in the Documentary Feature category of the 93rd edition of the Academy Awards in the US, IRNA reported.

Amirani’s ‘Coup 53’ is being shown at the academy’s members-only screening room, devoted to films in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Director Keshavarz recently discovered a family secret about her grandmother’s death. Forced to marry at a young age, her grandmother gave birth to seven children and took her own life at the age of 35 during her eighth pregnancy.

This year, the primary selection of eligible documentaries comprises 200 works, which has set a new record in the history of the Oscars.

According to Variety, in the documentary feature realm, a record 238 docs are among the contenders, crushing the record of 170 submissions from 2017. Among the pics is Amazon Studios’ ‘Time,’ which won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, National Board of Review, and New York Film Critics Circle awards for best documentary. It’s the first film since Sarah Polley’s ‘Stories We Tell’ (2012) to win the big three critics’ prizes. However, Polley’s movie failed to get an Academy Awards nomination. This also begs the question raised in our most recent round of documentary feature predictions. Is it time for the branch to expand its nominations from five to 10, as they are about to institute next year in Best Picture? Members of the documentary branch will begin voting on Feb. 1 to determine the 15-film shortlist, announced on Feb. 9. The branch will then vote to choose the five nominees when member-wide voting opens.

The academy also revealed that 27 animated features are eligible for Oscars, shy of last year’s record of 32. Among them is the frontrunner ‘Soul’ from Pixar, which has netted more than 18 wins from the regional critics’ prizes. Also among the eligible films are ‘Onward,’ ‘Over the Moon,’ ‘Trolls: World Tour’ and ‘Wolfwalkers.’ To determine the five nominees, members of the short films and feature animation branch, and any other AMPAS members who opted-in to participate will cast their ballots during the voting period, which takes place on March 5. Last year, members who opted-in must have watched half of the total submissions to vote, meaning 14 of this year’s contenders must have been seen by a member to vote.

The best international feature category tied a record, with 93 countries submitted for consideration. Thus far, ‘Another Round’ from Denmark is the leader in the critics’ awards. Coincidentally, the film also seems to be one of the few contenders making a strong play in other categories, particularly star Mads Mikkelsen in Best Actor. Last year, 93 countries submitted, which had broken the 2017 record of 92. Still, Nigeria’s first-ever submission, ‘Lionheart,’ was disqualified for containing too much English dialogue, even though English is the country’s official language. Prominent filmmakers spoke out at the time regarding the decision, including Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay.

The academy defines an international feature film as “a feature-length motion picture (over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States with a predominantly (over 50%) non-English dialogue track.”

Also among the nominees are first-time submissions from Lesotho (‘This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection’), Sudan (‘You Will Die at Twenty’) and Suriname (‘Wiren’), along with leading contenders from Ivory Coast (‘Night of the Kings”), Guatemala (“La Llorona”) and Taiwan (“A Sun”).

The academy’s board of governors recently voted to expand the shortlist from 10 to 15 films due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other security concerns. For the first time in academy history, all branches were invited to vote in the preliminary round of voting, with a minimum viewing requirement to vote in the category. Voting for the shortlist takes place Feb. 1 to Feb. 5, with the 15 highest vote-getters being announced on Feb. 9.

Last year, South Korea’s ‘Parasite’ became the first foreign-language winner for Best Picture, nabbing three other awards for international feature, directing, and original screenplay.

Nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards will be announced on March 15. The 93rd Oscars telecast is scheduled for April 25.

Source: Tehran Times