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Poland is the first out of the gate for the 2021 international Oscar race, naming Never Gonna Snow Again from director Malgorzata Szumowska as its national contender for next year’s Academy Awards.
Szumowska’s latest comedic drama will have its world premiere in competition at the Venice International Film Festival in September.
Stranger Things actor Alec Utgoff stars, alongside Ida actress Agata Kulesza, in the story of a Ukrainian migrant working as a masseur in Poland who becomes a guru-like figure in the gated community where his clients live.
Szumowska’s reputation as one of Poland’s most acclaimed directors has grown year-to-year with such award-winning features as 2013’s In The Name Of, the 2015 feature Body and 2018 movie Mug. The later two both won Silver Bears — for best director and the Jury Grand Prix respectively — at the Berlin International Film Festival.
This will be the first time Szumowska will represent her country as an Oscar hopeful.
Poland has been a hot contender in the international Oscar race in recent years. Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida won the Oscar for what was then known as best foreign language film in 2014 and his follow up, Cold War, was nominated for best international feature last year. Compatriot Jan Komasa received an international feature Oscar nom this year for his Polish drama Corpus Christi.
Szumowska co-wrote Never Gonna Snow Again with Michal Englert. The Match Factory is handling international sales.
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