South Africa’s official entry, Knuckle City from director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, didn’t make the so-called "December shortlist" for the International Feature Film category of the 92nd Academy Awards although an African film did make the cut: Senegal’s Atlantics from Mati Diop making her directorial debut with the film.
It’s the first time Senegal has a film entry in the Top 10 round of the Oscar’s International Feature Film category which was previously known as the Foreign Language Film category.
From the 91 eligible foreign films, 10 are going through with the final five nominees in the category that will be announced in January 2020.
This year two further African countries – Ghana with Azalia and Nigeria with Lionheart – submitted films in the category for the first time. In November the Academy disqualified Nigeria’s entry saying the film’s dialogue is predominantly in English and therefore not allowed.
The 10 films going through to the next round are The Painted Bird (Czech Republic), Truth and Justice (Estonia), Les Misérables (France), Those Who Remained (Hungary), Honeyland (North Macedonia), Corpus Christi (Poland), Beanpole (Russia), Atlantics (French: Atlantique) (Senegal), Parasite (South Korea), and Pain and Glory (Spain).
Atlantics is a supernatural drama revolving around an exploited construction worker who falls in love with a woman who is forced into an arranged marriage with another man. At the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, the film won the Grand Prix, the second-most prestigious prize of the festival after the Palme d’Or.
Nominations for the 92nd Oscars will be announced on Monday 13 January 2020 with the award ceremony that will take place on Sunday 9 February 2020 and that will be broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101).