Four Giornate titles in the running for an OscarŽ

The names of the contenders for the OscarŽ for Best International Feature Film have been announced. Each country has selected a title that stands a fair chance of making it onto the shortlist, at least, in 2021, at a time when no clear winner seems to be out there, unlike the winners from the last two years, Roma by Alfonso Cuarón and Parasite by Bong Joon-ho.

Italy will be represented by Notturno by Gianfranco Rosi. Hopes that the director of Below Sea Level and Fire at Sea will nab a spot on that shortlist are running high.

As for films tapped for the 2019 and 2020 Giornate, four feature films are currently contending for the OscarŽ: 200 Meters by Ameen Nayfeh (Jordan, 2020), La llorona by Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala, 2019), Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time by Lili Horvát (Hungary, 2020), and You Will Die at 20 by Amjad Abu Alala (Sudan, 2019). Except for Hungary, these titles come from countries whose films don't always get a showing at festivals, yet when they do, they garner critical and popular acclaim and win over jurors as well.

Just to stick with the recent past, at this writing, the films on the 2020 Giornate slate have racked up 36 awards at the various festivals where they have been screened.

"And we fervently hope," say Giornate Delegate Giorgio Gosetti and Artistic Director Gaia Furrer, "that they will go on to win many more, in such a challenging year as this, when films can't get the theatrical releases they normally would. As far as Giornate is concerned, all we can do is roll up our sleeves and get down to the work of finding new talent and films to deliver to audiences the world over."

The full list of OscarŽ contenders we're providing below is not just to help us place our bets, however. It serves to highlight the thorough job that festivals do. While OscarŽ nominations may usually seem like a private affair between the Berlinale, Cannes and Venice, we invite you to take note of how many of the films on this list have made the rounds of a broad variety of international festivals a testament to the painstaking efforts of programmers and artistic directors.

The list of the films
Albania Open Door by Florenc Papas
Austria What We Wanted by Ulrike Kofler
Belgium Filles de joie by Frédéric Fonteyne, Anne Paulicevich
Bosnia and Herzegovina Quo Vadis, Aïda? by Jasmila Žbanić
Bulgaria The Father by Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov
Costa Rica Ceniza negra by Sofía Quirós Úbeda
Croatia Extracurricular by Ivan-Goran Vitez
Czech Republic Charlatan by Agnieszka Holland
Denmark Another Round by Thomas Vinterberg
Estonia The Last Ones by Veiko Őunpuu
Finland Tove by Zaida Bergroth
France Deux by Filippo Meneghetti
Georgia Beginning by Dea Kulumbegashvili
Germany And Tomorrow the Entire World by Julia von Heinz
Greece Apples by Christos Nikou
Guatemala La llorona by Jayro Bustamante
Hungary Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time by Lili Horvát
Ireland Arracht by Tom Sullivan
Italy Notturno by Gianfranco Rosi
Ivory Coast Night of the Kings by Philippe Lacôte
Jordan 200 Meters by Ameen Nayfeh
Kosovo Exile by Visar Morina
Latvia Blizzard of Souls by Dzintars Dreibergs
Lesotho This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
Lithuania Nova Lituania by Karolis Kaupinis
Luxembourg River Tales by Julie Schroell
Montenegro Breasts by Marija Perović
Netherlands Buladó by Eché Janga
North Macedonia Willow by Milcho Manchevski
Norway Hope by Maria Södahl
Palestine Gaza mon amour by Arab Nasser, Tarzan Nasser
Peru Canción sin nombre by Melina León
Poland Never Gonna Snow Again by Małgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert
Portugal Listen by Ana Rocha de Sousa
Romania Collective by Alexander Nanau
Slovakia The Report by Peter Bebjak
Slovenia Stories from the Chestnut Woods by Gregor Bozic
Spain La trinchera infinita by Aitor Arregi, Jon Garańo, Jose Mari Goenaga
Sudan You Will Die at 20 by Amjad Abu Alala
Sweden Charter by Amanda Kernell
Switzerland My Little Sister by Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond
Tunisia The Man Who Sold His Skin by Kaouther Ben Hania
Ukraine Atlantis by Valentyn Vasyanovych
Venezuela Once Upon a Time in Venezuela by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos