Oscars Reveal Record-Breaking Lists of Contenders in Documentary, International Categories

AMPAS also unveiled the 27 contenders in the Best Animated Feature category, which fell short of a new record

Another Round Dick Johnson Soul
'Another Round': Samuel Goldwyn / 'Dick Johnson Is Dead': Netflix / 'Soul': Pixar

The Academy has released the official lists of eligible films in the 2020 Best International Feature Film, Best Documentary Feature and Best Animated Feature categories, with 93 international movies, 238 documentaries and 27 animated films competing in this year’s race.

TheWrap had previously revealed the figures and the lists of competing films in the international and animation categories, and the list of the 240 films that were initially sent to Documentary branch members in that category.

Two of the three categories set new records for the number of submissions. In the documentary category, the 238 eligible films are 68 more than the old record of 170, which was set in 2017. New rules passed because of the COVID-19 pandemic made it easier for docs to qualify this year than ever before, which led to the huge influx of entries.

Two documentaries, “The Lost Paradise” and “Music Got Me Here,” were initially sent to the branch members in October and December, respectively, and were placed on the “required viewing” lists for some voters. But those two films failed to meet the eligibility requirements and were removed from the final list.

In the international category, this year’s field of 93 narrowly beat the record of 92 set in 2017. (Last year, 93 entries were initially announced, but two were later deemed to be ineligible.) The number of entries could have been even larger, but Algeria withdrew its initial submission, Bhutan submitted a film but didn’t establish an Academy-approved selection committee, Uzbekistan failed to provide the required materials for submission and Belarus submitted a film without enough creative input from that country.

The animation field is one of the three categories that did not set a new record. Its total of 27 eligible films is five less than last year’s record of 32 and is heavily weighted toward international films rather than the major-studio animated features that would normally have been released in theaters during the summer.

Here are the full lists of qualifying films, from TheWrap’s original stories that first broke the news in all three categories:

Oscars Animated Feature Race Gets a Big, Late Boost From International Contenders

Oscars Obliterate Old Record for Documentaries

Oscars International Category Breaks Record with 93 Entries

The official Academy lists of qualifying films can be found here: Animation, Documentary, International.

From Feb. 1-5, voters in the documentary and international categories will cast ballots to determine 15-film shortlists in each category. The shortlists will be announced on Feb. 9, and a second round of voting will take place to select the five nominees.

The animated-feature category will not have a shortlist round of voting, with voters simply choosing the five nominees from the list of 27.

In all three categories, voters will need to see a minimum number of films drawn from a “required viewing” list in order to vote. Animation voters must see nine assigned films, international voters must view 12 from a specific group of 23 or 24 films, and documentary voters must view more than 30 films.


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