After ‘Parasite’ and ‘Roma,’ What Can the Oscars International Race Do for an Encore?


On the heels of two of the most successful non-English films in Oscar history, the category is facing a year of production halts and theater closings

These should be the best of times for the Oscars’ Best International Feature Film category. After all, last year’s winner, “Parasite,” went on to win additional Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. The year before, “Roma” won in the category that was then called Best Foreign Language Film, then added Best Director and Best Cinematography awards.

With the Academy adding more members outside the United States every year, the international category is becoming more and more of a powerhouse. But can it continue that clout this year, when production and exhibition has been curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and there may well be fewer entries than usual? And regardless of the number of entries, is there anything out there that feels like the next “Roma” or “Parasite”?

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Steve Pond

Steve Pond has been writing about film, music, pop culture and the entertainment industry for more than 40 years. He has served as TheWrap’s awards editor and executive editor, awards since joining the company in 2009. Steve began his career writing about music for the Los Angeles Times, where he remained a contributor for more than 15 years, and Rolling Stone, where he was West Coast Music Editor and wrote 16 cover stories. He moved into film coverage with a weekly column in the Washington Post and became a contributing writer at Premiere magazine, where he became the first journalist to have all access to the Academy Awards show and rehearsals. He has also written for the New York Times, Movieline, the DGA Quarterly, GQ, Playboy, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, New York, the Christian Science Monitor, Live! magazine and many others. He is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller “The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards” (Faber and Faber, 2005). He has also written “Elvis in Hollywood” (New American Library, 1990) and contributed to books that include “Cash,” “The Rolling Stone Reader,” U2: The Rolling Stone Files,” “Bruce Springsteen: The Rolling Stone Files” and “The Rolling Stone Interviews: The 1980s.” He was the co-managing editor of the syndicated TV news program “The Industry News” and the creative consultant for the A&E series “The Inside Track With Graham Nash.” He has won L.A. Press Club awards for stories in TheWrap, the Los Angeles Times and Playboy, and was nominated for a National Magazine Award for a story in Premiere.