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Overall, 93 movies were eligible for this year’s Academy Awards in the best international feature film category. When the five Oscar nominees were unveiled on Monday morning, two countries could celebrate earning their first-ever nods in the category.
They are Tunisia, whose The Man Who Sold His Skin had become the country’s first-ever shortlisted film, and Romania, which had submitted documentary Collective. Guatemala, whose La Llorona had become the country’s first-ever shortlisted film in the category, didn’t get nominated.
Rounding out the Oscar international feature nominees are Another Round (Denmark), Better Days (Hong Kong), and Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia/Herzegovina).
Collective, about corruption in Romania’s healthcare industry, had made the shortlist for the Oscar doc race and, in a rare achievement, also earned a nomination in that category on Monday. THR in its review of Alexander Nanau’s film about a sports newspaper launching an investigation into hospital corruption in the wake of a nightclub fire, wrote it was “an angry, unnerving expression of collective outrage.”
The Man Who Sold His Skin is filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania’s second fiction feature and is set in the art world, telling the story of a Syrian man desirous to get to Europe who accepts to become a canvas for a controversial contemporary artist.
With its first nomination, Tunisia becomes the fifth country from the continent of Africa to be nominated for the international feature film honor. The Man Who Sold His Skin is the 10th film nominated from the region. Previous nominations include five films from Algeria, two from South Africa, and one each from Ivory Coast and Mauritania.
The Oscars ceremony will take place on April 25.
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