Oscars: Belarus Selects 'Debut' for International Feature Film Category

Debut Film Still - Publicity - H 2019
VERZIO Film Festival

Anastasiya Miroshnichenko's documentary centers on women serving their sentences in a penitentiary.

Belarus has selected Anastasiya Miroshnichenko's documentary Debut as its submission for consideration in the best international feature film category at the 2020 Oscars.

Focusing on 11 female convicts who volunteered to take part in a theater play, the film explores the soulless atmosphere of a women's penitentiary, questioning the rationality of long prison terms for women with children in Belarus.

Debut was screened at a number of international film fests, including the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival. Miroshnichenko's previous documentary, Crossroads, took home the audience award and special mention at the Warsaw International Film Festival.

Debut is Belarus' fourth entry for consideration in the best international feature film Oscar category (formerly known as best foreign language film) since the country became independent in 1991. Belarus didn't submit a film between 1996 and last year. It has yet to secure a nomination.

The 92nd Academy Awards are set to take place Feb. 9, 2020.