As usual, there are several films that are the official submissions for their country in the Best International Feature Oscar category at this year’s Festival, hoping to make the Academy Awards shortlist and eventual select list of five nominees. To even be selected as the submission and placed in contention for nomination is a significant honor for these films and their filmmakers. The process involves an Academy-approved committee or jury (which must include film industry artists and craftspeople) who select the film for their country. We are so elated to be screening the below films and submissions in our program.
Alcarras dir Carla Simón, submission for Spain. In this absorbing family drama, a close-knit clan is plunged into crisis when the land they have farmed for decades is sold to developers.
A Piece of Sky dir Michael Koch, submission for Switzerland. In a remote Alpine village, Marco and Anna find their relationship tested as his behavior grows increasingly erratic in this moving meditation on the nature of enduring love.
The Blue Caftan dir Maryam Touzani, submission for Morocco. After master tailor Halim reluctantly takes on a new apprentice, the two must conceal their mutual attraction in this elegant and sympathetic reflection on adoration, love, and longing.
Close dir Lukas Dhont, submission for Belgium. Following a perfect summer vacation, the intimate friendship of Leo and Remi, thirteen-year-old best friends, is tragically tested by the social pressures of the new school year.
Corsage dir Marie Kreutzer, submission for Austria. Vicky Krieps delivers a tour-de-force performance as Austria’s Empress Elisabeth in a bold and timely revisionist costume drama.
Decision to Leave dir Park Chan-wook, submission for South Korea. An ace detective falls for a magnetic murder suspect in this neo-noir masterpiece from South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook.
EO dir Jerzy Skolimowski, submission for Poland. A series of vignettes tell the life story of Eo, a sentient circus donkey whose tumultuous life finds him bearing witness to the best and worst of humanity in this loving homage to Rober Bresson’s “Au Hasard Balthazar.”
The Kings of the World dir Laura Mora, submission for Colombia. A kaleidoscopic road movie that follows five streetwise boys on a dangerous yet dreamlike journey across Colombia to reclaim a piece of land that they might finally call home.
Mediterranean Fever dir Maha Haj, submission for Palestine. In this charming absurdist tale of mid-life restlessness, an aspiring novelist suffering from writer’s block finds himself out of his depth after he is befriended by his new neighbor who dabbles in petty crime.
Plan 75 dir Chie Hayakawa, submission for Japan. In a dystopian near-future, the fates of three lonely souls become intertwined as they are drawn into the sphere of Plan 75, a government program that gently coerces senior citizens to be euthanized.
Saint Omer dir Alice Diop, submission for France. In this profound character study, a novelist observes the trial of a Senegalese woman accused of infanticide—a crime she admits to having committed yet maintains her innocence.
Under the Fig Trees dir Erige Sehiri, submission for Tunisia. A day in the Tunisian fig harvest: fruit pickers young and old gossip, squabble, flirt and reminisce, seeking connection and reflecting on love and life in this sun-dappled slice of life.
You can check out our full program and festival events here.