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Oscars International Race Breaks Record With 93 Entries

Voters now have four weeks to watch at least 12 films from a lineup that includes ”Another World,“ ”Collective“ and ”I’m No Longer Here“

AWARDS BEAT

The Academy on Friday unveiled to its voters a record 93 films will compete in the Best International Feature Film category — which will no doubt leading to a busy four weeks of viewing before first-round voting begins on Feb. 1.

Helped by COVID-inspired rules that relaxed the usual entry requirements, the films topped the record of 92 entries set in 2017, as TheWrap suggested they likely would in December. The films include a record 34 female directors, seven more than the previous high of 27 set last year.

This is not the official list of qualifying films, which is expected to be released by the Academy later in January. But these 93 films are all in the members-only online screening room devoted to the category, and each of them has been put on a “required viewing” list for one-fourth of the voters. It is unlikely that any of the films will be disqualified at this point, although last year two films were deemed ineligible even after the list of contenders had been announced, dropping the number of 2019 contenders from 93 to 91.

This year, at least three films — Canada’s “Funny Boy,” Portugal’s “Listen” and Belarus’ “Persian Lessons” — were submitted but turned down by the Academy, the first two for containing too much English dialogue and the Belarus entry for not having enough creative input from that country. Canada and Portugal submitted alternate films prior to the deadline. Additional problems caused submissions from Bhutan and Uzbekistan to be ineligible, while Algeria submitted “Heliopolis” but later withdrew it.

Among the films that made the cut are Denmark’s “Another Round,” Romania’s documentary “Collective,” Mexico’s “I’m No Longer Here,” the Ivory Coast’s “Night of the Kings,” Switzerland’s “My Little Sister,” Poland’s “Never Gonna Snow Again,” France’s “Two of Us,” Netherlands’ “Bulado,” Bosnia & Herzegovina’s “Quo Vadis, Aida?,” Russia’s “Dear Comrades,” Guatemala’s “La Llorona,” Portugal’s “Vitalina Varela,” Ukraine’s “Atlantis,” Taiwan’s “A Sun,” Georgia’s “Beginning” and Lesotho’s “This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection.”

But in a year with few slam-dunk choices on the order of recent nominees “Parasite,” “Roma,” “Cold War,” “Les Miserables” and “Pain and Glory,” the battle for the nomination may be more wide-open than usual.

It’s also more uncertain when it comes to who will vote. First-round balloting is open to all Academy members for the first time ever, which could shift the balance of power away from the Los Angeles-based members who have attended special screenings and determined the bulk of the shortlist for years. But members are receiving their lists of “required viewing” only three-and-a-half weeks before phase-one voting begins, and exactly four weeks before it ends on Feb. 5. And in order for votes to count, members must see a minimum of 12 films from their required-viewing lists, which consist of 23 films (Groups 1, 2 and 3) or 24 films (Group 4).

For members who have been watching the films since they began to be placed in the category’s online screening room, those numbers are within reach, assuming that enough of the movies they’ve seen are on the required-viewing list. But if voters have waited to receive those lists so they know which films to focus on — a situation that anecdotal evidence suggests some have done — they are now faced with watching four or five international movies a week for the rest of January, a prospect that could result in less-motivated participants dropping out.

TheWrap has compiled a list of the eligible films, with descriptions and links to trailers.

Here are the films that have been placed in the Academy screening room and assigned to voters in the category:

Albania: “Open Door”
Argentina: “The Sleepwalkers”
Armenia: “Songs of Solomon”
Austria: “What We Wanted”
Bangladesh: “Sincerely Yours, Dhaka”
Belgium: “Working Girls”
Bolivia: “Chaco”
Bosnia & Herzegovina: “Quo Vadis, Aida?”
Brazil: “Babenco – Tell Me When I Die”
Bulgaria: “The Father”
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”
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”
Morocco: “The Unknown Saint”
Netherlands: “Bulado”
Nigeria: “The Milkmaid”
North Macedonia: “Willow”
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 Twenty”
Suriname: “Wiren”
Sweden: “Charter”
Switzerland: “My Little Sister”
Taiwan: “A Sun”
Thailand: “Happy Old Year”
Tunisia: “The Man Who Sold His Skin”
Turkey: “Miracle in Cell No. 7”
Ukraine: “Atlantis”
Uruguay: “Aleli”
Venezuela: “Once Upon a Time in Venezuela”
Vietnam: “Dreamy Eyes”