Ukraine Resolves Conflict Over Foreign-Language Oscar Selection Process

The Tribe Still Cannes - H 2014
Courtesy of Festival de Cannes

The Tribe Still Cannes - H 2014

The country missed the deadline for this year's awards due to the rift.

Ukraine has resolved a conflict over the selection process for the country's entry into the foreign-language Oscar race as the producers' association, the national filmmakers' union and the state cinema agency signed a memorandum about their cooperation within the country's nomination committee.

The memorandum approves a new makeup of the Oscar committee, ending a rift that has continued for nearly two years, paralyzing the committee's operation and causing Ukraine to miss the submission deadline last year for the 2016 Academy Awards.

"To resolve disputes related to the operation of the Ukrainian Oscar committee and avoid possible conflicts of interest in the future, a memorandum between the national filmmakers' union and the Ukrainian producers' association is signed regarding regulation of the Ukrainian Oscar committee," the groups said in a statement on the national filmmakers' union's website.

In accordance with the new rules, an open contest for the position Ukrainian Oscar committee secretary will be announced shortly. The new Oscar committee includes 16 people, approved by all parties involved.

The conflict over the Oscar selection process began back in 2014 when the existing selection procedure provoked accusations of irregularities over the choice of The Guide as Ukraine's foreign-language Oscar candidate that year.

Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, the director of international festival hit The Tribe, claimed that three members of The Guide's production team were involved in voting in a decision shrouded in mystery and made by too few members of the committee.

Last year, a new makeup of the committee and a new selection procedure were introduced by the national filmmakers' union, the organization assigned to form the Oscar committee and select the country's entry by the state cinema agency.

However, the Ukrainian producers' association and some individual producers who felt sidelined accused the new committee of inactivity and insufficient transparency.

Now that the differences are resolved, Ukraine shouldn't have any problems submitting a film for next year's awards, observers expect.