Oscars excludes foreign film

Oscar.jpgThis latest story about the Oscars banning a movie is probably the most silliest, and it’s something that just goes to show how absurd the need to categorise movies has become. This time it’s because the Singapore film Be With Me which has been excluded from the Foreign Language Film category for having too much English in it.

The story is from the BBC. So the Foreign Language Film category relates directly to the language spoken by the actors onscreen, now that’s fair enough when you look at the name, but there’s actually not another category for Foreign Film. The Academy define the category as:

…as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.

Now you may not realise the distinction there, but the Singapore movie Be With Me contains an all non-US cast and crew, it’s inspired by a story and written by all non-US born people, yet it’s not eligible because the main language in the movie is English. Isn’t this a little unfair? After all in this commerical industry it is probably increasing their revenues to keep it in English, yet that is the cause of them not achieving a consideration by the Oscars.

What strikes me as even more odd is that there is no true Foreign Film category in the BAFTA‘s:

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE:. All feature length films with predominantly non-English dialogue are eligible.

Is that not just a bit unfair defining a foreign movie on the basis of the language spoken by the actors? What about a movie funded, produced, written, directed, crewed and acted by people born outwith the country of the awards? I’m actually quite surprised that I’ve never noticed that distinction before.

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One thought on “Oscars excludes foreign film

  1. Yep, this has been bothering me for quite some time. I am from Belgium and as a small country we don’t have the financing to compete in all genres. Foreign Films is the only section where independent production can be recognized. But if a director makes the creative choice to make it in English, he is automatically banned from the Academy. That is silly.

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