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International films break out of Oscars foreign category, led by 'Roma'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 22, 2019 - Duration: 01:53s

International films break out of Oscars foreign category, led by 'Roma'

A foreign language film has never won the movie industry's most prestigious honor, the best picture Oscar.

But this year, several foreign language films have broken out of their category, led by 'Roma'.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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International films break out of Oscars foreign category, led by 'Roma'

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION A foreign language film has never won the movie industry's most prestigious honor, the best picture Oscar.

That may be about to change, if Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron's critically-acclaimed "Roma" scores the big win on Sunday (February 24).

Shot entirely in Spanish and an indigenous Mexican language, "Roma" broke out of the foreign language film category, scoring nominations, not only for best picture, but also director, lead and supporting actress, screenplay, and multiple technical fields.

Other foreign language-nominated films followed suit.

Florian Henckel von Donnersmark's "Never Look Away", about a struggling artist in Nazi, and then Communist, eastern Germany, is also nominated for best cinematography.

Poland's "Cold War," the story of a dark romance between a pianist and a singer, scored a best director nomination for Pawel Pawlikowski.

Whether the surge of interest in foreign language films is fleeting or sign of things to come split opinions at a reception on Thursday (February 21) celebrating the nominated foreign language films. "This year, because of 'Roma,' I suppose, which is a huge film and by a director who is kind of familiar here as well, I think the foreign language has transcended its usual slot.

But I think maybe it's an anomaly.

I'm not sure it's a sign of massive changes," Pawlikowski told Reuters.

"I think the Academy has always been surprisingly open and ahead of its time in its internationality, so I just see this as a continuation of something that they've always been doing," said Henckel von Donnersmark.

The Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday in a live ceremony televised by ABC starting at 5 p.m.

PT/8 p.m.

ET (0100 GMT on Monday).

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