Oscars release first shortlists for 2021 Academy Awards
Shortlists for nine Oscar categories have been unveiled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas), an intermediate stage in the thinning-out of films that have qualified for consideration for the Academy Awards. The categories include best documentary, best international film and best song, as well as best live action and documentary shorts.
The rules for each voting process vary, but in most categories a preliminary vote from industry specialists in each field is employed to create the shortlist and then the final five nominations, with the full membership of the Academy invited to vote on the winner.
The best documentary category sees such high-profile films as Boys State, Crip Camp, Dick Johnson Is Dead and MLK/FBI go forward, along with well-reviewed European productions including Collective (from Romania) and Notturno (from Italy). As expected, the streaming services Netflix and Amazon dominate, scoring three and two entries respectively. However, there was no places for big names such as Frederick Wiseman (City Hall) and and Werner Herzog (Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds), nor for popular Netflix documentaries The Social Dilemma and Disclosure.
The international feature list, which has been slimmed down from 93 candidates put forward by recognised bodies from individual countries, contains most of the films that have made an impact on the much-reduced festival and specialist-release circuit, including Thomas Vinterberg’s alcohol-fuelled yarn Another Round, Srebrenica massacre drama Quo Vadis, Aida? by the Bosnian director Jasmila Žbani?, and Russian veteran Andrei Konchalovsky’s Dear Comrades!, about a Soviet-era strike crackdown.
The best short documentary list includes a film commissioned by the Guardian: Colette, a study of a former French resistance fighter who visits the concentration camp where her brother was murdered, directed by Anthony Giacchino; the BBC adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale makes it into the best short animation list.
The Oscars are due to take place on 25 April at the Dolby theatre in Los Angeles.