The Thanksgiving Long Weekend offers rewards voters the chance to browse the first stack of filters – or in the case of the Academy Awards and BAFTA groups, scroll through their streaming room platforms. In several discussions with those who voted for the awards, it was interesting to note how few films they have seen at this point in the year. Maybe it’s linked to the pandemic, and many of them are returning to work and on deadline, or maybe they don’t hear anything that excites them enough to seek it out.
In-person awards screenings in Los Angeles have been particularly plentiful for films like “Dune” by Denis Villeneuve and, more recently, “The Card Counter” by Paul Schrader, both in the presence of star Oscar Isaac. But in this first year of banning sending DVDs to Oscar and Bafta voters, will every film have enough eyes to make enough noise?
In the case of the Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences, we are two weeks away from the opening of the preselection vote, where ten branches will reduce their selections to 10 or 15 films. The categories are International Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Makeup & Hairstyle, Visual Effects, Animated Short, Documentary Short, Live Action Short, Original Score, Original Song and, for the first time, Best Sound , which will be reduced to 10.
Last year, 238 documentaries were submitted for industry review, shattering the previous record of 170 in 2017. As of Friday, 128 films had been uploaded, with the Academy’s promise to see some. others by the end of Wednesday. So we shouldn’t expect the total number of entrants to exceed last year’s, but it could be somewhat close to the big number of 2017.
It should be noted that there are 10 months of submissions this year, up from 12 months, due to the pandemic.
For the best picture, which the entire Academy votes on, there are currently 93 features in the Academy’s broadcast room. The pandemic year of 2020 produced a total of 366 films vying for the top category, the highest since 1970, and that’s a number we could see again by the end of the year.
In the international feature film race, there is no official number as the Academy will not release it until a later date, but at the moment it looks like there are 93 countries in play, the same number than last year. Somalia is the only country that submits to AMPAS for the first time with “The Gravedigger’s Wife”, while three others submit again after being disqualified last year – “HÃ©liopolis in Algeria”, “Lunana : A yak in the class of “Bhutan and” Uzbekistan “2000 songs of Farida.
It is also unclear how many of the Academy’s 10,000 members chose to vote on the shortlist, which will be reduced to 15 before the official list is again voted on for nominations, which will be announced on February 8, with the other general categories.
BAFTA’s View online streaming platform sports a whole new aesthetic and a whole new user navigation. With the ability to sort the library by categories, movie types, and tags related to the gender of the director or an under-represented group, members can also track what they’ve watched and save ratings on the movie.
As of today, there are a total of 127 films in the running for the EE British Academy Film Awards, with many more to come. It all started with A24’s Kelly Reichardt’s âFirst Cowâ, the first film uploaded for review in categories such as Best Picture, Lead Actor (John Magaro) and Supporting Actor (Orion Lee). The most recent upload was Emer Reynolds’ documentary “Phil Lynott: Songs for While I’m Away”.
Unlike the Academy, BAFTA has different submission criteria for Best Non-English Film, making it difficult to find a correlation with the Oscar category. With 26 films to date, voters across the pond can watch âDrive My Carâ in Japan or âLambâ in Iceland during the holidays. They can also host selections such as âParallel Mothersâ by Pedro AlmodÃ³var from Spain or âHappeningâ from France by Audrey Diwan.
Thirty-nine films are looking for love in the Outstanding British Film category, including the musical “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” from Amazon Studios and “Mothering Sunday” from Sony Pictures Classics. There are also some unexpected contenders like âCruellaâ by Craig Gillespie from Walt Disney Pictures, âBlack Widowâ by Cate Shortland from Marvel Studios and âPassingâ by Rebecca Hall from Netflix. Roger Michell’s latest film, “The Duke,” which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, is also seeking posthumous attention for the beloved filmmaker who died in September.
Forty-six documentaries include “Becoming Cousteau” by Liz Garbus (National Geographic), “The Sparks Brothers” by Edgar Wright (Focus Features) and “The Velvet Underground” by Todd Haynes (Apple Original Films).
A few crossovers from the final awards season might still find their way into a lineup or two, like IFC’s âThe Nestâ with Carrie Coon and Jude Law and Monument Releasing’s âThe Surrogateâ with Jasmine Batchelor.
Other high-profile films on the platform, whether voters give them a chance or not, that are worth watching include: “A Quiet Place Part II” (Paramount Pictures), “Pig” (Neon) , “In the Heights” (Warner Bros), “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix), “Luca” (Pixar), “The Last Duel” (20th Century Studios), “Zola” (A24), “Stillwater” (Focus Features), âShang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Ringsâ (Marvel), âEyes of Tammy Fayeâ (Searchlight Pictures), âDear Evan Hansenâ (Universal Pictures), âAnnetteâ (Amazon Studios) and “Respect” (MGM / United Artists Releasing).