Oscar 2017 Predictions: Will Cuba Get its Second Oscar Nomination with Busan Film Festival Selection "The Companion?"
"The Companion" has been selected as Cuba's official selection for the Academy Awards. Directed by Pavel Giroud, the film made its world premiere at the prestigious Busan Film Festival and later went on to screen at the Chicago International, Toulouse and Havana Film Festivals. The movie was a co-production with San Sebastian Film Festival's Project forum.
While "The Companion" comes in with a lot of buzz from the festivals, the film still does not have U.S distribution. However, it will open in France where it is receiving rave reviews.
This is the second time Cuba submits a film by Pavel Giroud. His film "The Silly Age" was submitted in 2007. Even though it was nominated for a Goya award and won the top prize at the Cartagena Film Festival, it failed to garner a stop in the nine finalists.
In the past, Cuba has been nominated for the Academy Award once. In 1994, the film "Strawberry and Chocolate" was nominated after premiering at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals and winning the Goya award. However, since then the country has not been close. It has yet to make the shortlist and Cuba has not submitted consistently.
The last time Cuba submitted a film was in 2014 when the country selected "Behavior." That film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and later on went to get nominated for the Goya Award.
Every year multiple countries submit films to compete in the Foreign Language category. Last year Hungary took home its second Oscar for "Son of Saul" by Laszlo Nemes. That film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, competed against 81 other countries. Other recent winners to take home the award include Poland's "Ida," Italy's "The Great Beauty" and Austria's "Amour."
The deadline for submissions is Oct. 3 with the Academy announcing a list of eligible films later that month. On Jan. 17 the Academy will announce the nine finalists from among the eligible films. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 24 and the winner will be announced at the Oscar ceremony on Feb. 26, 2017.