In a break from tradition, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to allow all of its eligible voters to weigh in on the nominees for Best International Feature Film award, which is the new name for the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Deadline reports that Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann, who serve as co-chairs of the International Feature Film executive committee, have sent a letter to members that everyone will be able to vote, based on a 10-film shortlist — seven of which will be selected from the committee, and three of which will be “saves” selected by the executive committee.
This year, there are 93 countries in the running for Best International Feature Film. Current frontrunners include Bong Joon-ho‘s Parasite from South Korea, Lady Ly‘s Les Misérables from France, Pedro Almodóvar‘s Pain and Glory from Spain, Mati Diop‘s Atlantics from Senegal, and Václav Marhoul‘s The Painted Bird from the Czech Republic.
According to Deadline, the letter said “This Oscars season, for the first time, we will invite all Academy members to opt in to vote on nominations for the International Feature category. The shortlisted films will be made available to all Academy members to stream on the Academy Screening Room platform via the member site and our new Apple TV 4 app. In addition, the shortlisted films will be screened theatrically in Los Angeles, London and New York during nominations voting. Just a reminder, the 92nd Oscars are February 9, 2020 — two weeks earlier than usual. Due to the accelerated schedule, the voting periods for both nominations and finals are shorter than in the past, and we want to make sure every member has the opportunity to see the shortlisted films and participate.”
International Feature Shortlist screenings will take place January 3-5, since the Oscars will be held two weeks earlier than usual on Feb. 9, 2020. The shortlist has been expanded from nine to ten titles this year, and at least one international film, Pain and Glory, has already been uploaded to the Academy’s new app that allows voters to stream hopeful nominees — all for the low, low price of $12,500.
And if you saw Parasite and have questions abut the ending, click here for a helpful explainer.