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Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressSix Filmstiftung-backedfunded productions in the running for the Foreign Oscar shortlist

Six Filmstiftung-backedfunded productions in the running for the Foreign Oscar shortlist

  • "Fallen Leaves" (Finland), "Goodbye Julia" (Sudan), "The Settlers" (Chile) and "Tiger Stripes" (Malaysia) submitted for "Best International Feature Film" category
  • "Night" by Ahmed Saleh and "Lamarck" by Marian Mayland submitted for "Best Short Film" category
  • Announcement of the shortlist on 21 December
  • Oscar nominations on 23 January, 2024, ceremony of the 96th Academy Awards on 10 March, 2024

The race for the Oscars is on: four international co-productions supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW are in the running for the shortlist for the "Best International Feature Film" category of the 2024 Academy Awards. A total of 80 countries – from Egypt to Vietnam – have submitted their films to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and up to 15 of them will make it onto the coveted shortlist which will be revealed on 21 December. In addition, two Filmstiftung-backed productions are among the submissions for “Best Short Film” category, with 15 titles also being selected for the shortlist.

Submitted for "Best International Feature Film"

"Fallen Leaves" by Aki Kaurismäki celebrated its world premiere in Cannes where the film was awarded the Jury Prize as well as receiving the FIPRESCI Grand Prix for Best Film of the Year in San Sebastián. The tragicomedy is now Finland’s entry for the Oscar shortlist. "Fallen Leaves" was produced by Sputnik and Bufo (both FI), in co-production with Cologne-based Pandora Film and with participation from the  broadcasters  ZDF/ARTE and Yle (FI). Kaurismäki’s 20th feature film is about two lonely people (Alma Pöysti and Jussi Vatanen) who meet by chance one  night in Helsinki and try to find their first, only and last love. The film is currently nominated in the two categories "Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language" and "Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy" (Alma Pöysti) at the Golden Globe Awards.

Sudan’s Oscar candidate is Mohamed Kordofani's Filmstiftung-backed feature film debut "Goodbye Julia" which had already been shown in Cannes’  Un Certain Regard sidebar and received the Freedom Prize. The international co-production by Station Films, Kloziums Studios (both SD), Redstar Productions & Distribution (EG), Dolce Vita Films (FR) and Riverflower (SE) was made in Sudan and co-produced on the German side by Die Gesellschaft DGS. The film is set shortly before the secession of South Sudan. A former singer from the north seeks to make amends for causing the death of a man from the south by employing his unsuspecting widow as a maid.

"The Settlers" by Felipe Gálvez is Chile’s Oscar candidate. Produced by Quijote Films as a co-production with Cologne-based Sutor Kolonko, Qhiddity (GB), Ciné Sud (FR), SnowGlobe (DK) and Rei Cine (AR), the feature film was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It centres on a “civilising” raid across  Patagonia at the beginning of the 20th century when a wealthy rich landowner hires three horsemen to secure his property.

Malaysia is being represented in the Oscar race by "Tiger Stripes" by Amanda Nell Eu, which won the Grand Prix at the 62nd edition of Semaine de la Critique in Cannes in May. The production by Ghost Grrrl Pictures from Malaysia was co-produced by Cologne-based Weydemann Bros along with Akanga Film Asia (SG), Kawankawan Media (IN), Still Moving (FR), PRPL (NL), Flash Forward Entertainment (Taiwan) and Qatar. The Malaysian writer-director tells the story of 12-year-old Zaffan, who is struggling with puberty and discovers a terrifying secret about her physical self.

Submitted for "Best Short Film"

The Filmstiftung-backed short film "Night" by Ahmed Saleh was submitted for the Best Animated Short Film category. Produced by Fabian&Fred, the film had already been shown in Locarno in 2021 and has since been screened at numerous national and international film festivals.

The experimental short documentary "Lamarck" by Marian Mayland has been entered for the Best Documentary Short Film category. The Filmstiftung-backed production won the German Short Film Award in 2022.

The nominations for the five films in each category will be announced on 23 January, 2024. The Oscar awards ceremony will be held on 10 March, 2024.