Overtaking Parasite – 93rd Oscars International Feature Submissions

As I mentioned yesterday in my 2020 recap, the upcoming Oscar Blitz will likely be the most difficult I’ve ever attempted, mostly because the pandemic has introduced a host of variables about accessibility of nominees, particularly in the specialty categories. The deadline for submitting was on December 1, and as of yet there’s been no official statement from the Academy as to who’s vying for the top prizes.

However, insiders have been reporting that the Academy Screening Room online hub has been updated with the submissions for International Feature and Documentary Feature. In both cases, we have potentially record numbers of possibilities – 93 foreign entries and potentially more than 400 documentaries. As I mentioned when the rules were announced last year, the focus on the ASR provides more opportunity for Academy voters to see as many submissions as possible without relying on theatre schedules or DVD screeners, and for the first time, the entire body can vote on International Feature. More importantly, they have to watch a certain number of the submitted films in order for their preliminary votes to count. Again, we have no official word on what that number is, but the rumor is at least 12 from what I’ve been reading online.

The shortlists are expected to be released on February 9, so one way or another we’ll find out soon who’s in it for the long haul this year. However, assuming the published list is accurate, we pretty much know who the contenders are. And in anticipation of this, I’ve taken it upon myself to seek out as many of these as possible through various streaming services. Of all the categories, International Feature is the hardest, because it’s the only one with absolutely no obligation to make their nominees available to the American public.

So take this list with the requisite amount of salt, but until we have an official announcement from the Academy, this is the best we have to go on.

Here are the 93 accepted submissions for International Feature!

Albania – Open Door
Argentina – The Sleepwalkers
Armenia – Songs of Solomon
Austria – What We Wanted
Bangladesh – Sincerely Yours, Dhaka
Belgium – Working Girls
Bolivia – Chaco
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Quo Vadis Aida
Brazil – Babenco: Tell Me When I Die
Bulgaria – The Father (not to be confused with the upcoming Anthony Hopkins feature which is also getting Oscar buzz)
Cambodia – Fathers
Cameroon – The Fisherman’s Diary
Canada – 14 Days, 12 Nights
Chile – The Mole Agent
China – Leap
Colombia – Memories of My Father
Costa Rica – Land of Ashes
Croatia – Extracurricular
Cuba – Buscando a Casal
Czech Republic – Charlatan
Denmark – Another Round
Dominican Republic – A State of Madness
Ecuador – Emptiness
Egypt – When We’re Born
Estonia – The Last Ones
Finland – Tove
France – Two of Us
Georgia – Beginning
Germany – And Tomorrow the Entire World
Greece – Apples
Guatemala – La Llorona (not to be confused with the terribly lazy horror movie from 2019)
Honduras – Days of Light
Hong Kong – Better Days
Hungary – Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
Iceland – Agnes Joy
India – Jallikattu
Indonesia – Impetigore
Iran – Sun Children
Ireland – Arracht
Israel – Asia
Italy – Notturno
Ivory Coast – Night of the Kings
Japan – True Mothers
Jordan – 200 Meters
Kazakhstan – The Crying Steppe
Kenya – The Letter
Kosovo – Exile
Kyrgyzstan – Running to the Sky
Latvia – Blizzard of Souls
Lebanon – Broken Keys
Lesotho – This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection
Lithuania – Nova Lituania
Luxembourg – River Tales
Malaysia – Roh
Mexico – I’m No Longer Here
Mongolia – Veins of the World
Montenegro – Breasts (tee hee)
Morocco – The Unknown Saint
Netherlands – Bulado
Nigeria – The Milkmaid
North Macedonia – Willow (as far as I know, Warwick Davis has no involvement)
Norway – Hope
Pakistan – Circus of Life
Palestine – Gaza mon amour
Panama – Operation Just Cause
Paraguay – Killing the Dead
Peru – Song Without a Name
Philippines – Mindanao
Poland – Never Gonna Snow Again
Portugal – Vitalina Varela
Romania – Collective
Russia – Dear Comrades
Saudi Arabia – Scales
Senegal – Nafi’s Father
Serbia – Dara of Jasenovac
Singapore – Wet Season
Slovakia – The Auschwitz Report
Slovenia – Stories from the Chestnut Woods
South Africa – Toorbos
South Korea – The Man Standing Next
Spain – The Endless Trench
Sudan – You Will Die at 20
Suriname – Wiren
Sweden – Charter
Switzerland – My Little Sister
Taiwan – A Sun
Thailand – Happy Old Year
Tunisia – The Man Who Sold His Skin (best title of the bunch)
Turkey – Miracle in Cell No. 7
Ukraine – Atlantis
Uruguay – Aleli
Venezuela – Once Upon a Time in Venezuela
Vietnam – Dreamy Eyes

Woo! Like a large family getting back from vacation, that’s a lot to unpack. All of those films are apparently up on the ASR site for the membership to see and vote, assuming they watch enough of them. But what about us, the regular schlubs desperate for content and trying to get a leg up on what is sure to be a hectic Awards Season schedule? Fear not! Or at least, fear less! Out of these 93 entries, I’ve been able to track down 26 of them currently available on various streaming services, and for the next couple of weeks, they will become my priority to watch and review. I’ve divided them up into three categories/sites, though there may be more that I haven’t found yet. If you’re able to track one down that I don’t have here, by all means reach out and let me and everyone else reading my tripe know ASAGDMFP!

The first group is a bit of a local plug. The Laemmle theatre chain here in Los Angeles is basically the home of indie, foreign, and arthouse films. Like other chains, during the pandemic they’ve shifted all of their content online. A good number of these films are available on their site, but only until February 4, which I believe is the deadline for voters to submit their preliminary ballots. If you go to laemmle.com, you can check out seven entries before they expire. There are probably other outlets for some of these, but I love these folks, and if you can help support them, please do so.

Laemmle Virtual Cinema
Another Round
Blizzard of Souls
Collective
My Little Sister
Notturno
Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
You Will Die at 20

The other two outlets are more standard, Netflix and Amazon. In the case of two of the Amazon films, you need to sign up for a trial of a separate service, and I’ll note those below. Everything else is either included with a Prime membership or available to rent for a few bucks each.

Amazon
Better Days
Impetigore
Jallikattu
La Llorona
Leap
The Man Standing Next
The Mole Agent
Nova Lituania (requires trial membership of MUBI)
Once Upon a Time in Venezuela (requires trial membership of Topics on Amazon)
Song Without a Name
Vitalina Varela

Netflix
Aleli
The Endless Trench
Happy Old Year
I’m No Longer Here
Miracle in Cell No. 7
Sincerely Yours, Dhaka
A Sun
What We Wanted

That’s what I’ve got so far. When the shortlists get announced in two weeks, it’ll officially be GO TIME in the leadup to the Oscar Blitz, but if you want an even earlier head start, here are your marching orders. If you have any info on other entries not listed here (either to stream or in the overall pack), feel free to reach out. It’s been delayed by two months, but we’re finally getting close to the fun stuff!

Join the conversation in the comments below! Have you seen any of these films? Which were your favorites? Would you be eligible to vote based on the number you’ve seen? Let me know!

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