2021 Oscar Predictions: Best International Feature [Updated: December 2]

Predicting the eventual five Oscar nominees for Best International Feature is made difficult by the three-step process that begins after the December 1 deadline for countries to submit entries. To be part of the selection process for this category, which was called Best Foreign Language Film before 2020, requires a great deal of dedication. (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2021 Oscar predictions for Best International Feature.)

First, the several hundred academy members of the International Feature screening committee are divided into groups and required to watch a number of the submissions over a two-month period that ends in early February. They will rate them from 6 to 10 and their top seven vote-getters make it to the next round, as will three films added by the members of the executive committee. This list of 10 semi-finalists will be revealed on February 9, 2021.

Those 10 films will be available to the entire academy membership who can cast ballots for the final five nominees provided they attest to having watched all the entries. The nominations in this (and the other 22 competitive categories) will be announced on March 15, 2021. All voters will get access to the five nominees and can vote for the winner, which will be revealed on the Oscars on April 25, 2021.

Since the competitive category was introduced in 1957, European films have dominated by winning 52 times. Compare that to four victories for films from Asia, three from each of Africa and South America, and one apiece from Canada and Mexico. Last year, a record 93 countries submitted entries in the International Feature Film race. That was up by six from 2019,when the category was still called Best Foreign-Language Film, and eclipsed the record 92 submissions in 2018.

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UPDATED: December 2, 2020

Leading Contenders (alphabetical by country)

Canada: “Funny Boy” (director: Deepa Mehta)

Chile: “The Mole Agent” (director: Maite Alberdi)

Czech Republic: “Charlatan” (director: Agnieszka Holland)

Denmark: “Another Round” (director: Thomas Vinterberg)

France: “Two of Us” (director: Filippo Meneghetti)

Iran: “Sun Children” (director: Majid Majid)

Israel: “Asia” (director: Ruthy Pribar)

Japan: “True Mothers” (director: Naomi Kawase)

Poland : “Never Gonna Snow Again” (director: Małgorzata Szumowska)

Romania: “Collective” (director: Alexander Nanau)

Russian: “Dear Comrades!” (director: Andrey Konchalovskiy)

Slovakia: “The Auschwitz Report” (director: Peter Bebjak)

South Korea: “The Man Standing Next” (director: Min-ho Woo)

Spain: “The Endless Trench” (directors: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño, Jose Mari Goenaga)

Sweden: “Charter” (director: Amanda Kernell)

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Strong Contenders (alphabetical by country)

Albania: “Open Door” (director: Florenc Papas)

Algeria: “Heliopolis” (director: Djaafar Gacem)

Argentina: “The Sleepwalkers” (director: Paula Hernández)

Austria: “What We Wanted” (director: Ulrike Kofler)

Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (director: Jasmila Zbanic)

Bulgaria, “The Father” (directors: Kristina Grozeva, Petat Valchanov)

Finland: “Tove” (director: Zaida Bergroth)

Germany: “And Tomorrow the Entire World” (director: Julia von Heinz)

Georgia: “Beginning” (director: Dea Kulumbegashvili)

Greece: “Apples” (director: Christos Nikou)

Hong Kong: “Better Days” (director: Derek Tsang)

Iceland: “Agnes Joy” (director: Silja Hauksdóttir)

Ireland: “Arracht” (director: Tom Sullivan)

Italy: “Notturno” (director: Gianfranco Rosi)

Ivory Coast: “Night of the Kings” (director: Philippe Lacôte)

Mexico: ” I’m No Longer Here” (director: Fernando Frías)

Netherlands: “Bulado” (director: Eché Janga)

Norway: “Hope” (director: Maria Sodahl)

Peru: Song “Without a Name” (director: Melina León)

South Africa: “Toorbos” (director: Rene van Rooyen)

Switzerland: “My Little Sister” (directors: Stéphanie Chuat & Véronique Reymond)

Taiwan: “A Sun” (director: Mong-Hong Chung)

Ukraine: “Atlantis” (director: Valentyn Vasyanovych)

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Possible Contenders (alphabetical by country)

Armenia: “Songs of Solomon” (director: Arman Nshanian)

Bangladesh: “Sincerely Yours, Dhaka” (directors: multiple)

Belarus: “Persian Lessons” (director: Vadim Perelman)

Belgium: “Working Girls” (directors: Frédéric Fonteyne, Anne Paulicevich)

Bhutan: “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” (director: Pawo Choyning Dorji)

Bolivia: “Chaco” (director: Diego Mondaca)

Colombia: “Forgotten We’ll Be” (director: Fernando Trueba)

Costa Rica: “Land of Ashes” (director: Sofia Quiros)

Croatia: “Extracurricular” (director: Ivan-Goran Vitez)

Dominican Republic: “A State of Madness” (director: Leticia Tonos)

Ecuador: “Emptiness” (director: Paúl Venegas)

Egypt: “When We’re Born” (director: Tamer Ezzat)

Estonia: “The Last Ones” (director: Veiko Õunpuu)

Guatemala: “La Llorona” (director: Jayro Bustamante)

Hungary: “Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time” (director: Lili Horvat)

India: “Jallikattu” (director: Lijo Jose Pellissery)

Indonesia: “Impetigore” (director: Joko Anwar)

Jordan: “200 Meters” (director: Ameen Nayfeh)

Kenya: “The Letter” (directors: Christopher King, Maia Lekow)

Kosovo: “Exile” (director: Visnar Morina)

Kyrgyzstan: “Running To The Sky” (director: Mirlan Abdykalykov)

Latvia: “Blizzard of Souls” (director: Dzintars Dreibergs)

Lebanon: ” Broken Keys” (director: Jimmy Keyrouz)

Lesotho: “This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection” (director: Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese)

Lithuania: “Nova Lituania” (director: Karolis Kaupinis)

Luxembourg: “River Tales” (director: Julie Schroell)

Malaysia: “Soul” (director: Emir Ezwan)

Morocco: “The Unknown Saint” (director: Alaa Eddine Aljem)

Nigerian: “The Milkman” (director: Desmond Ovbiagele)

Pakistan: “Zindagi Tamasha” (director: Sarmad Khoosat)

Palestine: “Gaza Mon Amour” (directors: Arab Nasser, Tarzan Nasser)

Panama: “Causa Justa” (directors: Luis Franco Brantley, Luis Pacheco)

Philippines: “Mindano” (director: Brillante Mendoza)

Serbia: “Dara from Jasenovac” (director: Predrag Antonijević)

Singapore: “Wet Season” (director: Anthony Chen)

Slovenia: “Stories from the Chestnut Woods” (director: Gregor Bozic)

Sudan: “You Will Die at 20” (director: Amjad Abu Alala)

Thailand: “Happy Old Year” (director: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit)

Tunisia: “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (director: Kaouther Ben Hania)

Turkey: “Miracle in Cel No 7” (director: Mehmet Ada Oztekin)

Uruguay: “Alelí” (director: Leticia Jorge)

Uzbekistan: “Two Thousand Songs of Farida” (director: Yalkin Tuychiev)

Venezuela: “Once Upon a Time in Venezuela” (director: Anabel Rodriguez Rios)

We will be updating our Oscar predictions for each competitive category often in the days to come so be sure to bookmark this page and keep checking back as the race heats up.

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PREDICT the 2021 Oscar nominations through March 15

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