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Last fall, five days before Italy announced its official Oscar submission, filmmakers Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch were nervous. The Belgian couple, who co-directed the intimate Cannes winner “The Eight Mountains” in the Italian Alps and learned the language for the project, hoped that their commitment was enough to convince the committee tasked with selecting the submission that it fulfilled their requirements.

“We want to make the Italians proud of this film, so we pray that they will feel proud enough to send it,” Vandermeersch told IndieWire at the time. “If our nationality diminishes that pride or that sense of ownership, we can’t help that, but we do think that it’s less and less important in the world of today.”

The following week, the country snubbed “The Eight Mountains” in favor of another Cannes selection, Italian director Mario Matone’s crime drama “Nostalgia;” one month later, it didn’t make the official shortlist. Italy — which, with 14 trophies, holds the record for the most international Oscars won in the category’s nearly 70-year history — was out of the race.

Months later, as “The Eight Mountains” finally opens in New York with awards season behind it, van Groeningen said the experience led him to rethink the process. A previous nominee for his heartbreaking 2012 bluegrass saga “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” the filmmaker said he took the submission rules for granted until he made a movie that blended two nationalities in its production.

“I felt, in a way, that it was unfair,” he said. “We were in between. Because a big part of the creative team was Belgian, even though the rest of the team was Italian, we had no place.” They knew they couldn’t submit the movie as the Belgian entry; that country went with another Cannes prize-winner, Lukas Dhont’s “Close,” which did receive a nomination.

“If I could change [the Oscars], it’d be this idea to have the category be more open, so any movie could apply for it,” van Groeningen said. “Then it would be a process of natural selection.”

His comments come as the Academy prepares to meet this Friday to discuss potential rule changes heading into the 2023-24 Oscar season. Ahead of that session, there has been speculation that the requirements for the Best International Feature Film category could be in flux. Last year, the Academy hired former Sundance programmer Dilcia Barrera to oversee the international submission process and help countries navigate the requirements, but stakeholders across the industry tell IndieWire they would like to see the “one country, one film” rule give way to more expansive regulations.

As it happens, “The Eight Mountains” opens on the same week that IFC Films releases another movie snubbed by its home country during the submission process, Romanian auteur Cristian Mungiu’s “RMN.” Mungiu has been his country’s most prominent filmmaker ever since his abortion thriller “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days” won the Palme d’Or in 2007 (it wasn’t shortlisted by the Academy, which created an outcry of its own). While Mungiu’s “R.M.N.” was well received at Cannes premiere, Romania chose to ignore the haunting immigration story about small-town xenophobia in favor of submitting “Immaculate” (also not shortlisted).

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IFC Films

“To be honest, it was meaningful enough for me this year to be a bit sad,” Mungiu told IndieWire in an interview this week. “I don’t believe too much in awards, but there’s something coming with the promotion done for the awards. It’s important to have the attention, and releasing a film in the U.S. is so much connected with the awards season that I was sorry that the film was not chosen because I knew the attention for that film would have been bigger and earlier, and not now.”

Mungiu suggested a tweak to the Academy rules that has been whispered to IndieWire by others in the industry: Rather than solely relying on the varied processes through which individual countries choose their selections, the Academy should mandate that all contenders receive a U.S. theatrical release. “You need to have some distributor in the U.S. if you want to choose a film because if not, you’re just throwing a rock into a river and it won’t matter,” he said.

Of the Romanian Oscar committee, Mungiu said, “They don’t want the Academy to appreciate what [Romanian audiences] like. They want the Academy to appreciate what they think [the Academy] should like, which is very funny.” (“Immaculate” has yet to secure a U.S. distributor.)

The counterargument to this proposal: It risks putting lower-profile films at a disadvantage, since they may not be attractive to risk-averse U.S. buyers. Unexpected entries such as first-time Bhutan nominee “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” is often cited as a key example.

“If you’re from a big country it’s a disadvantage because of the competition, but there’s more money behind it,” van Groeningen said. “I always thought this was how it is. Every country sends one movie and that’s how it is. Because of our process with this last film and the conversations I was having about it, I started thinking differently.”

Academy rules have evolved many times over the years, including a decision in 2006 that no longer required a submitted film to be in the language of its own home country. These changes were reflected in a few of last year’s submissions, including the Danish entry “Holy Spider,” a Persian-language thriller shot in Jordan. However, current regulations still leave the process open to the whims of countries that are often averse to directors who don’t hold citizenship there.

For “The Eight Mountains,” van Groeningen and Vandermeersch immersed themselves in the remote mountain culture at the center of the story, which was adapted from the novel by Paolo Cognetti about two young men — one from the city and the other from the countryside — whose relationship grows more complicated as they age.

The project followed van Groeningen’s experience making his first non-Belgian film, the English-language “Beautiful Boy,” and he said the two experiences helped him embrace the idea of working beyond his country’s borders.

“Before I had always worked in Belgium with almost the exact same crew,” he said. “I realized I could get out of my comfort zone. I grew step by step in feeling comfortable with a crew I don’t know and with working in a different language. Every step in my trajectory has opened up my world and made me feel more comfortable and curious in pursuing that.”

Additional reporting by Ryan Lattanzio.


By: Eric Kohn
Title: The Oscar Process That Needs an Overhaul: International Filmmakers Speak Out
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Published Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2023 21:30:20 +0000

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“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid” – Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o



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Christoph Waltz presenting Lupita Nyong’o with the Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “12 Years a Slave” at the 86th Oscars® in 2014.

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By: Oscars
Title: “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid” – Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o
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2023 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series



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We will update this article throughout the season, along with all our predictions, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2023 Emmys race. The nomination round of voting takes place from June 15 to June 26, with the official Emmy nominations announced Wednesday, July 12. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be presented over two consecutive nights on Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10, with an edited presentation of the ceremonies to be broadcast on FXX at a later date. Finally, the 75th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards take place on Monday, September 18, and air live on FOX at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.

The State of the Race

If anyone deserved an Emmy for their acceptance speech alone, it would be recent Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series winner Sheryl Lee Ralph (technically last year’s telecast falls into this year’s eligibility window, so why not throw her another recognition?).

One of the appeals of her show “Abbott Elementary” is just how giving the ABC comedy is to its ensemble, so though Ralph is the frontrunner, co-star Janelle James (another returning nominee) could just as fittingly win for her standout performance as Principal Ava in Season 2. Plus, with shows like “Hacks” out of the running this year, there is more room for “Abbott Elementary” star Lisa Ann Walter to make it in too this time.

As for the network comedy’s biggest competition, look no further than comedy juggernaut “Ted Lasso,” which boasts an Emmy-winning performance from Hannah Waddingham, plus multiple nominations for Juno Temple. Though the presumed final season of the show was not the most showy for their characters, there is little doubt that they both will make it into the category this year.

“Barry” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” coming to an end this season paves the way for past nominees Sarah Goldberg, Alex Borstein, and Marin Hinkle to join them, though there is a trio of formidable newcomers as well, with “The Bear” Ayo Edebiri and “Shrinking” stars Jessica Williams and Christa Miller getting meaty enough supporting work on new hit series to warrant awards attention.

Current Contenders (In Alphabetical Order):
Zazie Beetz, “Atlanta” (FX)
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Prime Video)
Ayo Edebiri, “The Bear” (Hulu)
Sarah Goldberg, “Barry” (HBO)
Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Prime Video)
Janelle James, “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
Jane Krakowski, “Schmigadoon” (Apple TV+)
Christa Miller, “Shrinking” (Apple TV+)
Ego Nwodim, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Sheryl Lee Ralph, “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
Lisa Ann Walter, “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
Jessica Williams, “Shrinking” (Apple TV+)

More Comedy Category Predictions:
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

To see IndieWire’s full set of predictions for the 75th Emmy Awards click here.

Last Year’s Winner: Sheryl Lee Ralph, “Abbott Elementary”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: Last year was Sheryl Lee Ralph’s first Emmy win for “Abbott Elementary,” so no streak yet, but if she did win again, she would become the first Black actress to win this category twice.
Notable Ineligible Series: Hannah Einbinder, “Hacks” (Season 3 was not eligible)


By: Marcus Jones
Title: 2023 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
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Published Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2023 21:15:00 +0000

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Adam Silver Slid A Subtle Ja Morant Joke Into The End Of A Radio Appearance



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NBA commissioner Adam Silver spends most of his public appearances being very serious as he discusses league business. Usually he is being asked about things like larger plans for the future (like the in-season tournament or expansion) or how the NBA is handling a delicate situation, like the investigation into Ja Morant‘s latest video holding a gun on Instagram Live.

As such, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for him to show off a sense of humor, but he couldn’t help but make a sly little joke while ending an interview with Dan Patrick on Thursday. As they talked about players carrying the ball and Adam Sandler, Patrick joked he would get the Sandman to do a PSA for an Anti-Carrying Program for the NBA. That opened the door for Silver to make a subtle crack about how an “Anti-Carrying Program” could hold a double meaning, seemingly referencing the ongoing saga with Morant.

It’s kind of jarring to see Silver let this one fly given he typically stays buttoned up, but Patrick seemed to be right on it and understood he was referring to Morant. I also think this is less him making light of the situation and more expressing a little exasperation that this is the second time Morant has found himself in this spot, but I also have little doubt there will be some who are upset with the remark.


By: Robby Kalland
Title: Adam Silver Slid A Subtle Ja Morant Joke Into The End Of A Radio Appearance
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Published Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2023 22:13:03 +0000

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