Oscars: Ukraine Selects 'Ukrainian Sheriffs' for Foreign-Language Category

Ukrainian Sheriffs still - H 2015
Courtesy of International Documentary Festival Amsterdam

Ukraine missed last year's campaign due to controversy over the national Oscar committee's makeup.

Ukraine has selected Roman Bondarchuk's documentary Ukrainski sherify (Ukrainian Sheriffs) as its submission in the race for the best foreign-language Oscar.

Centered on a two-man team of sheriffs in a remote Ukrainian village, troubled by routine incidents and political issues, the documentary had its premiere at last year's Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, where it collected the jury special prize in the main competition.

Ukrainian Sheriffs went on to take part in more than two dozen international festivals and recently collected the Grand Prix at the festival Docs ?gainst Gravity in Poland.

Last year, Ukraine was unable to submit a film to the best foreign language film Oscar race as there was a conflict over the makeup of the Ukrainian Oscar committee and a new selection procedure.

Changes were triggered by a controversy back in 2014, when the selection of The Guide over Miroslav Slaboshpitsky's international festival hit The Tribe triggered accusations of conflict of interest in the country.

This past summer, Ukraine's national filmmakers' union and the Ukrainian producers' association signed a memorandum agreeing on the makeup of the Ukrainian Oscar committee, which was later approved by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.