Oscars: Croatia Selects 'Mali' for International Feature Film Category

MALI - Publicity still - H 2019
Courtesy Propeler Film

Antonio Nui?'s film centers on a drug dealer who is desperate to keep custody of his son after being released from prison.

Croatia has selected Antonio Nui?'s Mali as its submission in the international feature category for the 2020 Academy Awards.

The drama centers on Frenki, a drug dealer who has just been released from prison after serving a four-year sentence. His son, Mali, is a teenager finishing primary school, while his wife, Martina, is dying of cancer in a hospital. Frenki faces a court battle with Mali's maternal grandparents over custody of his son.

Mali premiered at the Pula Film Festival in Croatia in July 2018 and collected the Big Golden Arena Award for the best film in the national competition, as well as the Croatian Society of Film Critics' award. It later screened at the Sarajevo Film Festival and had a theatrical release in Croatia in February.

Mali is Nui?'s fifth feature. His Kenjac (Donkey) was Croatia's Oscar submission in 2009.

Since it became an independent state in 1992, Croatia has regularly entered films in the best international feature Oscar race, but it has yet to receive a nomination.

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