No More ‘Foreign Language’ Oscars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors has
approved Oscars rules
for the 92nd Academy Awards, including changing the Foreign Language
Film category to International Feature Film.
Roma received ten nominations at last year’s Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It became the first Mexican entry to win Best Foreign Language Film and was also the first foreign language film to win for Best Director, Alfonso Cuarón.
“We have noted that the reference to ‘Foreign’ is outdated within the global
filmmaking community,” commented Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann,
co-chairs of the International Feature Film Committee. “We believe that
International Feature Film better represents this category, and promotes a
positive and inclusive view of filmmaking, and the art of film as a universal
According to the Academy, “The category name change does not change any
existing category rules, the submission process, or eligibility requirements. An
international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture
produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English
dialogue track. Animated and documentary feature films are permitted. Only one
film is accepted from each country as the official selection.”
In addition, the shortlist for the International Feature Film award is
expanding to ten films; seven to be chosen by the Phase I International Feature
Film Committee, and the additional three to be voted by the International
Feature Film Award Executive Committee.
The nomination of Netflix’s Spanish-language movie, Roma, in last year’s Best Picture category caused disagreement among
Academy members not so much because of its language medium, but because some Academy
members, including director Steven Spielberg, believe that only movies on general
release should be eligible for awards. Roma
complied with Academy rules by showing for a few weeks in Los Angeles before
being available for streaming on Netflix
The complete 92nd Academy Awards rules are available at


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