The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the lists of films that will be considered for nominations for next year’s Oscars in the following categories: best documentary feature film, best animated feature film and best international film. There are Polish accents on all three lists.
Oscars 2024 is getting closer. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (also known as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, AMPAS) on the night from Thursday to Friday published lists of film titles that meet the formal conditions and from which the Academy members will choose the nominees. Traditionally, first the lists of films were presented, which will be considered in three categories: the best full-length animated film, the best full-length documentary film and the best international film. Each of them featured Polish productions or Polish co-productions.
Based on these lists, on December 21, AMPAS will announce “short lists” in the categories of best international film and best full-length documentary film, i.e. 15 titles, from which five nominees will be selected in both categories (in the animated film category, the short list is not announced).
Oscars 2024. “Chłopi” in the race in two categories
In the best animated feature film category, the list includes 33 titles. As we read in the announcement, submitted and qualified full-length animated films may qualify for other categories – including the most important one: best film.
Among the full-length animations there is the official Polish candidate for the Oscar in the best foreign film category, “The Peasants”, directed by DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman. The animation representing Polish cinematography met the formal conditions and the title was among the candidates for nomination in the best international film category.
“An international film is defined as a full-length cinematic production (over 40 minutes), produced outside the United States, with a dominant part (over 50%) of non-English dialogues,” reads the AMPAS release. The Academy announced that among the entries from 88 countries or dependent territories, for the first time there was an entry from Namibia.
DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman used animation created using a painting technique – similarly to “Loving Vincent” – to bring to life the Nobel Prize-winning novel “Chłopi” by Władysław Reymont. The film is aimed at adult viewers. This time, however, the whole thing is maintained in the aesthetics of Polish painters of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Paintings by Józef Chełmoński, Ferdynand Ruszczyc and Leon Wyczółkowski were “revived”.
The film “Chłopi” had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was received with very positive reviews from international critics. The Polish premiere of the title took place as part of the main competition of the 48th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. The Welchmans received the Audience Award and the Special Jury Award for “Chłopów”. The production was also included in the program of the London Film Festival (BFI London Film Festival) and the Busan International Film Festival.
Oscars 2024. Polish co-productions competing with “Peasants”
The Welchman family’s latest film is not the only Polish accent on the Academy’s published lists. The best international film category included two more Polish co-productions. The first of them is Jonathan Glazer’s latest film “Stream Zone”, submitted by Great Britain. One of the producers is Ewa Puszczyńska. The film received five nominations for the European Film Awards: European Film, European Director (Jonathan Glazer), European Screenwriter (Jonathan Glazer), European Actress (Sandra Hüller) and European Actor (Christian Friedel).
The American-British-Polish production has already been appreciated, among others, during the Cannes Film Festival, where it received the Main Competition Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI International Federation of Film Critics Award. “Business Zone” is a loose adaptation of the novel of the same title by Martin Amis. This is Glazer’s first full-length feature film in 10 years, i.e. since the famous “Under the Skin” with Scarlett Johansson in the main role. “Business Zone” is a shocking story about a domestic idyll in the shadow of the crematoria, i.e. the family life of the commandant of the German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig. The main roles were played by Sandra Hüller and Christian Friedel. The author of the photos for “Strefa biznes” is Łukasz Żal.
According to international critics, “Business Zone” is the strongest candidate for the Oscar in the best foreign film category. Glazer himself has a good chance of being nominated for director and screenplay, Łukasz Żal for cinematography and Sandra Hüller for the female lead role.
Also in the race for best foreign film is “Housemaking for Beginners,” directed by Macedonian-Australian filmmaker Goran Stolevski. The film submitted by North Macedonia is a co-production of North Macedonia, SwedenKosovo, Poland, SerbiaCroatia, United States and Australia. The co-producers of the film are Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska and Beata Rzeźniczek (Madants).
Strong Polish representation among documentaries
The list of films from which academics will choose the best full-length documentary includes 196 titles. Such a long list is due to the fact that the titles included were those awarded at film festivals qualifying for Oscars, as well as documentaries submitted in the best international film category as the official candidate of a given country.
“Films that are included in the Best Documentary Feature category may also be eligible for other Academy Award categories, including Best Picture,” the release reads.
This category included three Polish productions or co-productions. These are: “Pianoforte” directed by Jakub Piątek, “From Where to Where” directed by Maciek Hameli and “Apolonia Apolonia” directed by Danish filmmaker Lea Glob. The co-producer of the latter title is HBO Max Central Europe – owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, the owner of TVN Warner Bros. Discovery Poland. The Polish producer of this documentary is Małgorzata Staroń (Staron Film).
The Film Academy also reminded that the list of nominations for the 2024 Oscars will be announced on January 23 next year. The Academy Awards are scheduled for March 10, 2024.
Main photo source: NEXT FILM