Angelina Jolie and Loung Ung stepped out together yesterday to screen First They Killed My Father at the Girls Academic Leadership Academy in LA and then last night at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. The film has been generally warmly received by critics and also very well supported by Netflix. As you know, it’s been submitted for Oscar consideration in the Foreign Language Film category representing Cambodia. A total of 92 films have been submitted in the first stage. Here’s how it works to make it to stage 2 and then to stage 3, which is the final stage, when the final 5 nominations are confirmed:
First, the several hundred academy members of the Foreign-Language Film screening committee are required to watch a number of the submissions (upwards of 15) over a two-month period that ends in mid December. They will rate them from 6 to 10 and their top six vote-getters make it to the next round, as will three films added by the 20 members of the executive committee.
Those nine semi-finalists will be screened three per day beginning in early January by select committee members in Gotham, Hollywood, London and, new this year, San Francisco. These 40 folks will then vote for the final five which will be revealed, along with the other Oscar nominations, on Jan. 23.
I’m not sure what “upwards of 15” means but I think it’s a safe assumption that few of the members will make it through all 92 of the submissions. That’s why awareness is critical. And that’s where Angelina Jolie might have an advantage. What’s the disadvantage? Maybe too much awareness? There are some in the establishment who don’t take her seriously as a filmmaker. See Scott Rudin. She’s campaigning though. As we knew she would. From the moment she decided that she wanted her film to be included in the Oscar conversation, she would have been aware of what would be required of her to get it there.
This year, as previously mentioned, she could be at the Oscars for two films. Angelina also produced the animated film The Breadwinner. It opens November 17th. The reviews for The Breadwinner are even stronger than the reviews for First They Killed My Father. As of this week, it’s now the second leading contender in the Best Animated Feature Oscar category. The potential storylines for Angelina Jolie going back to the Oscars as a double nominee are amazing. We’re all onside for this, right?