I was starting to get a little antsy waiting for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to start announcing the submissions for this year’s Oscars. I know everything got pushed back by two months, but we’re less than two weeks from the shortlist announcements, and thus far we haven’t seen a whit of information. The best I’ve been able to come up with is a second-hand list of International Feature submissions a couple of days ago.
Well thankfully, today the Academy gave us our fix. Not only did they confirm the 93 International Feature entries, but we also got the list of accepted submissions for Documentary Feature and Animated Feature! You can look at the full lists on the Academy’s official press release here.
This is some big news, and thankfully it gives us some clue as to where the winds might be blowing in these categories. First off, as I just said, the 93 films I listed for International Feature is finally locked in. There are no changes from the previous update, which in itself is a boost. That at least means the Academy insiders that have been reporting on this for the past three weeks weren’t misled.
But when you take the Documentary Feature list into account, we can see a bit of cross-pollination. Several of the International submissions are documentaries. There were 238 features accepted this year, which is just insane on its own, but several titles show up between both lists, including Italy’s Notturno, Chile’s The Mole Agent, and Venezuela’s entry, Once Upon a Time in Venezuela. Last year we saw Honeyland from North Macedonia nominated in both categories, so this may inform my priorities for viewership in the next few days.
Also, I’ll give a mild plug to one of the entries. During the Brooklyn Film Festival last year I had the opportunity to watch and review The Right Girls for my friends at Behind the Rabbit Productions. You can read that review here (Grade: A-). I sincerely hope it makes the shortlist so that it can be more widely available.
Finally, we have Animated Feature. We have 27 entries this year, which is a slight decrease from last year. However, the category was permanently made into a five-nominee field recently, so we needn’t worry about a shortage of worthy candidates. I’ve seen a few of these and actively avoided at least two of them. There’s no shortlist here, so we’ll just have to wait until nominations are announced on March 15 to know the final field. A few of these are available through Netflix, and one of them (No. 7 Cherry Tree Lane) is currently available via Laemmle Virtual Cinema until February 4.
Here are the 27 films submitted, as well as links to reviews for the ones I’ve seen so far:
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
The Croods: A New Age
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu No Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train
Earwig and the Witch
Kill It and Leave This Town
Lupin III: The First
My Favorite War
Nos Ili Zagovor Ne Takikh
No.7 Cherry Lane
On-Gaku: Our Sound
Over the Moon
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
Ride Your Wave
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Trolls World Tour
A Whisker Away
All in all this feels like a fairly standard set. Between the studios and high-profile indies, you have more than enough for five solid nominees without even having to waste a breath on Trolls or Scoob. There are also a couple of anime shows at feature length (Demon Slayer and Lupin III) that could take a spot, and the first Shaun the Sheep movie got nominated a few years back, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it got a nod as well. Just so long as we can keep Simon Cowell and the “Rock music is the DEEVIL!” movies out of the final running, I’ll be happy.
There. I feel better. Shortlists come out on February 9 and nominations are on March 15. The Blitz has officially entered the qualification stages!
Join the conversation in the comments below! Are you stoked? I’m stoked. Why wouldn’t you be stoked? Let me know!