South African filmmakers invited to submit entries for Oscars

nfvf south african oscars

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) has put out a call for South African producers to submit their films for entry into the 94th Annual Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars.

It comes as the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences opened applications for the International Feature Film Award.

The Academy recognises the NFVF to make submissions on behalf of the South African filmmaking industry.

The NFVF will choose one film as the country’s submission for the award.

Eligibility requirements for South African Oscars entry

To be eligible, filmmakers must release their films in South Africa between 1 January and 31 December 2021.

The film must have been publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial cinema.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, films that were scheduled to have a theatrical release but were instead made available through a streaming service are also eligible.

Filmmakers must supply the film with its original dialogue track.

The film must be 50% or more in a language other than English for this category. It must also contain accurate English subtitles.

As part of the eligibility requirements, the NFVF must confirm to the Academy that creative control of the film was largely in the hands of South Africans.

Following a voting process by the South African International Feature Film Committee, they will approve the official selection and submit it to the academy.

Filmmakers can submit their films to the NFVF for consideration until 17 September.

In 2020, Afrikaans film Toorbos was submitted as the South African entry into the Oscars category. However, it was not nominated or shortlisted for the award.

Over the years, several local films have made the shortlist.

In 2005, at the 78th Academy Awards, Tsotsi won the Oscar for the Best International Feature Film.

While this is one way for South African filmmakers to make it to the Oscars, it is not the only one. Notably, in 2021, South African documentary My Octopus Teacher won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

Featured image: Unsplash/Jakob Owens

Read more: City of Cape Town launches film image library

Sam Spiller, Staff Writer


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