Oscars release first shortlists for 2021 Academy Awards

Boys State, MLK/FBI and Crip Camp among contenders as categories announced include best documentary and best international film

Shortlists for nine Oscar categories have been unveiled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas), an intermediate stage in the thinning-out of films that have qualified for consideration for the Academy Awards. The categories include best documentary, best international film and best song, as well as best live action and documentary shorts.

The rules for each voting process vary, but in most categories a preliminary vote from industry specialists in each field is employed to create the shortlist and then the final five nominations, with the full membership of the Academy invited to vote on the winner.

The best documentary category sees such high-profile films as Boys State, Crip Camp, Dick Johnson Is Dead and MLK/FBI go forward, along with well-reviewed European productions including Collective (from Romania) and Notturno (from Italy). As expected, the streaming services Netflix and Amazon dominate, scoring three and two entries respectively. However, there was no places for big names such as Frederick Wiseman (City Hall) and and Werner Herzog (Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds), nor for popular Netflix documentaries The Social Dilemma and Disclosure.

The international feature list, which has been slimmed down from 93 candidates put forward by recognised bodies from individual countries, contains most of the films that have made an impact on the much-reduced festival and specialist-release circuit, including Thomas Vinterberg’s alcohol-fuelled yarn Another Round, Srebrenica massacre drama Quo Vadis, Aida? by the Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanić, and Russian veteran Andrei Konchalovsky’s Dear Comrades!, about a Soviet-era strike crackdown.

The best short documentary list includes a film commissioned by the Guardian: Colette, a study of a former French resistance fighter who visits the concentration camp where her brother was murdered, directed by Anthony Giacchino; the BBC adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale makes it into the best short animation list.

The Oscars are due to take place on 25 April at the Dolby theatre in Los Angeles.

Full list of Oscar shortlists so far

Best documentary
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Boys State
Crip Camp
Dick Johnson Is Dead
The Mole Agent
My Octopus Teacher
The Painter and the Thief
76 Days
The Truffle Hunters
Welcome to Chechnya

Best short documentary
Abortion Helpline, This Is Lisa
Call Center Blues
A Concerto Is a Conversation
Do Not Split
Hunger Ward
Hysterical Girl
A Love Song for Latasha
The Speed Cubers
What Would Sophia Loren Do?

Best international film
Another Round
Better Days
Dear Comrades!
I’m No Longer Here
La Llorona
The Man Who Sold His Skin
The Mole Agent
Night of the Kings
Quo Vadis, Aida?
A Sun
Sun Children
Two of Us

Best makeup and hair
Birds of Prey
The Glorias
Hillbilly Elegy
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
The Little Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night in Miami

Best score
Blizzard of Souls
Da 5 Bloods
The Invisible Man
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
The Life Ahead
The Little Things
The Midnight Sky
News of the World
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best song
Turntables, All In: The Fight for Democracy
See What You’ve Done, Belly of the Beast
Wuhan Flu, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Húsavík, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Never Break, Giving Voice
Make It Work, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Fight for You, Judas and the Black Messiah
lo Sì (Seen), The Life Ahead
Rain Song, Minari
Show Me Your Soul, Mr Soul!
Loyal Brave True, Mulan
Free, The One and Only Ivan
Speak Now, One Night in Miami
Green, Sound of Metal
Hear My Voice, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best animated short
Genius Loci
If Anything Happens I Love You
The Snail and the Whale
To Gerard

Best live-action short
Da Yie
Feeling Through
The Human Voice
The Kicksled Choir
The Letter Room
The Present
Two Distant Strangers
The Van
White Eye

Best visual effects
Birds of Prey
Love and Monsters
The Midnight Sky
The One and Only Ivan
Welcome to Chechnya


Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

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