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Oscars Name Shortlisted Films In Feature Documentary And International Categories

"Crip Camp," produced by Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, is on the shortlist of 15 films in the documentary feature category for the Academy Awards. Steve Honigsbaum
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The Academy Awards won’t be handed out -- in whatever pandemic-friendly way its organizers settle upon -- until the end of April. But to separate the Oscar wheat from so much chaff, committees within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have released their shortlist of the best works in some select categories -- with Barack and Michelle Obama making the cut.

The abridged finalists in nine different races announced Tuesday mean that thousands of Oscar voters won’t have to sift through hundreds of submissions. In the documentary feature category, for example, the shortlist whittled 238 eligible movies down to 15 finalists.

Similarly, in the race for Best International Feature (formerly known as the foreign language film), submissions from 93 countries were trimmed to 15 contenders. But Oscar voters are required to watch every shortlisted entry before voting for a winner.

The shortlisted categories include hair and makeup, visual effects, song, score and three short film categories -- animated, live action and documentary.

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The documentary field was especially distinguished this year, and the finalists include “Crip Camp,” a film about disability rights that was released by Netflix under the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground Productions. (Their company won the top documentary prize last year with “American Factory.”)

But “The Dissident,” a movie about Saudi Arabia’s assasination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was left out; its director, Bryan Fogel, won the Oscar for “Icarus” three years ago.

If, by some means, the Oscars is able to include live musical performances, the potential nominees include an array of top performers: Janelle Monáe for “Turntables,” from the documentary “All In: The Fight for Democracy''; H.E.R. for “Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah''; John Legend for “Never Break,” from the documentary “Giving Voice”; and Sacha Baron Cohen for “Wuhan Flu” from “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”

Here are the shortlisted works in for documentary feature and international film categories:


“All In: The Fight for Democracy”

“Boys State”


“Crip Camp”

“Dick Johnson Is Dead”

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“The Mole Agent”

“My Octopus Teacher”


“The Painter and the Thief”

“76 Days”


“The Truffle Hunters”

“Welcome to Chechnya”


Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Quo Vadis, Aida?”

Chile, “The Mole Agent”

Czech Republic, “Charlatan”

Denmark, “Another Round”

France, “Two of Us”

Guatemala, “La Llorona”

Hong Kong, “Better Days”

Iran, “Sun Children”

Ivory Coast, “Night of the Kings”

Mexico, “I’m No Longer Here”

Norway, “Hope”

Romania, “Collective”

Russia, “Dear Comrades!”

Taiwan, “A Sun”

Tunisia, “The Man Who Sold His Skin”