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Academy Renames 'Best Foreign Language Film' Oscar Category to 'Best International Feature Film'

Academy Renames 'Best Foreign Language Film' Oscar Category to 'Best International Feature Film'

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) voted Tuesday night on a number of rule changes for the 92nd annual Academy Awards, among them a change in the name of the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category to ‘Best International Feature Film.’

The name change does not come with any alterations to existing category rules, submission process, or eligibility requirements. An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the US with a predominantly non-English dialogue track, and can include animated and documentary features. Only one film is accepted from each country as the official selection.

“We have noted that the reference to ‘Foreign’ is outdated within the global filmmaking community,” said international feature film committee co-chairs Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann. “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 experience.”

Other changes to the Academy Awards process include:

  • The release of eight animated feature films in a calendar year is no longer required to activate the category. Furthermore, nominations voting will be automatically open to all active members of the short films and feature animation branch. Other active voting members of the Academy must opt-in to participate in the nominations round.

  • The number of nominees for makeup and hairstyling will increase from three to five, and the shortlist is increasing from seven to ten. So-called “bake-off” reels for contenders will not exceed seven minutes in total running time.

  • In the short film categories, animated and live action short films now have the option to qualify theatrically in either New York City or Los Angeles in order to be eligible for submission.

The 92nd Oscars will take place on February 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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