The race for the next International Feature Film Oscar has begun and Switzerland is first out of the gate. Carmen Jaquier’s film Thunder will represent the European country with its 51st submission. Five Swiss films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language/International Feature Film, and two of these have won the Oscar, most recently for the Turkish refugee drama Journey of Hope at the 1991 Academy Awards.
Thunder tells the story of a young girl who returns home from the convent after learning of her sister’s mysterious death. Reunited with her three childhood friends she discovers that faith and desire can sometimes be intertwined. The film has its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival and is next set for the 2023 Locarno Film Festival in its home country on August 8.
Last season, 93 eligible submissions made the final cut, with Uganda submitting for the first time. Scroll down for the updated list with country notes and stats and more. Bookmark this page as more are announced throughout the season. The 15-film shortlist will be revealed on December 21, 2023 with Oscar nominations announced on January 23, 2024. The 96th Academy Awards will be held on March 10, 2024.
Foreign-language/International Feature films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar
Between 1947 and 1955, the Academy presented Special Awards to the best foreign language films released in the U.S. Because these awards were not handed out on a regular basis and didn’t have any nominees, they were not competitive. For the 29th Academy Awards in 1956, a competitive Academy Award of Merit, known as the Best Foreign Language Film Award, was created for non-English speaking films. It has since then been awarded annually category. Nearly 20 years earlier, Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion (France) was nominated for Best Picture in 1938, its only nomination. 2006’s Letters From Iwo Jima was a Japanese-spoken US production not an official submission for foreign language film.
In 1957, Denmark became the first country to send a film with a female director to the Foreign Oscar competition (Annelise Hovmand’s Be Dear to Me). Two years later, Astrid Henning-Jensen’s Paw became to the first film directed by a woman to receive a nomination in the category.
Since the inception of the foreign language/international feature Oscar in 1956, only 11 films have also been nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and nearly half of those are all within the last five years: 2018’s Roma from Mexico, 2019’s Parasite from South Korea (the first ever to win BP), Japan’s Drive My Car (2021) and Germany’s All Quiet on the Western Front (2022), all winners of the International Feature Film Oscar.
|Cries and Whispers||Sweden||1973|
|Life is Beautiful||Italy||1998|
|Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon||Taiwan||2000|
|Parasite (Best Picture winner)||South Korea||2019|
|Drive My Car||Japan||2021|
|All Quiet on the Western Front||Germany||2022|
The biggest losers: While Israel is the biggest loser with 10 nominations and no wins in this category, and Portugal is the currently the most unsuccessful country for getting a nomination with the most submissions (at 37). Philippines holds another record; it’s the sole country to send a submission film in the first competitive year (1956) that hasn’t gotten an Oscar nom yet. The other 7 countries that submitted that first year – France, Italy, West Germany (now Germany), Denmark, Sweden, Japan and Spain – all ended up winning the Oscar at least once.
Rules for International Feature Film at the 96th Oscars
An international film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (over 40 minutes) produced outside
the United States of America and its territories with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English
dialogue track. Animated and documentary feature films are permitted.
A. The country-selected film must be first released in the country of origin no earlier than December 1,
2022, and no later than October 31, 2023, and be first publicly exhibited for at least seven
consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor.
In order for films to more easily meet theatrical exhibition requirements, the Academy will allow films
to qualify outside the country of origin, provided the film is theatrically exhibited outside of the United
States and its territories for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater
for paid admission.
Submissions must be in 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema
format with a minimum projector resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, source image format conforming
to ST 428-1:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Image Characteristics; image compression (if
used) conforming to ISO/IEC 15444-1 (JPEG 2000); and image and sound files packaged as Digital
Cinema Packages (DCPs) in the “SMPTE DCP” format. SMPTE DCP refers to SMPTE ST 429-
2:2020 D-Cinema Packaging – DCP Operational Constraints and related specifications. (Blu-ray
format does not meet Digital Cinema requirements.)
The audio in a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is typically 5.1 or 7.1 channels of discrete audio. The
minimum for a non-mono configuration of the audio shall be three channels as Left, Center, Right (a
Left/Right configuration is not acceptable in a theatrical environment). In addition to channel-based
audio, object-based audio may also be present as an immersive audio bitstream.
The discrete audio data shall be formatted in conformance with SMPTE ST 429-3:2007 D-Cinema
Packaging – Sound and Picture Track File, SMPTE ST 428-2:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master –
Audio Characteristics and SMPTE ST 428-12:2013 D-Cinema Distribution Master Common Audio
Channels and Soundfield Groups. Immersive audio, if present, shall be formatted in conformance
with SMPTE ST 2098-2:2019 Immersive Audio Bitstream Specification and SMPTE 429-18:2019 DCinema Packaging – Immersive Audio Track File and packaged in conformance with SMPTE 429-
19:2019 D-Cinema Packaging – DCP Operational Constraints for Immersive Audio.
B. The film must be advertised and exploited during its qualifying theatrical release in a manner
considered normal and customary to theatrical feature distribution practices. The film need not have
been released in the United States.
C. Films that, in any version, receive a nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution before their
qualifying theatrical release will not be eligible for Academy Awards consideration.
Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:
- Broadcast and cable television
- DVD distribution
- Inflight airline distribution
- Internet transmission
D. The recording of the original dialogue track as well as the completed picture must be predominantly
(more than 50%) in a language or languages other than English. Accurate, legible Englishlanguage subtitles are required.
E. The submitting country must confirm that creative control of the film was largely in the hands of
citizens or residents of the submitting country.
F. Should a selection committee not disclose up-to-date and/or accurate information related to a
submitted film’s citizenship, business-related affiliation or credit on a selected film, designated credits,
production details and release information, a film will be deemed ineligible.
G. The International Feature Film Executive Committee shall resolve all questions of eligibility and rules
A. Each country shall be invited to submit its best film to the Academy. Selection of that film shall be
made by one approved organization, jury or committee, of which at least 50% must include artists
and/or craftspeople from the field of motion pictures. A list of the selection committee members must
be submitted to the Academy no later than Tuesday, August 15, 2023, or by the submission
deadline published by the Academy. Countries submitting for the first time, or which have not
submitted for the previous five years, must present a list of selection committee members and
application materials for Academy approval by December 31, 2023, for eligibility in the following
(97th) Awards year. A country need not submit a film every year for Awards consideration.
B. Only one film will be accepted from each country as the official selection. Films should be
submitted to the Academy as soon as they are selected.
C. The Academy will provide online access to each country’s approved selection committee so that the
producer of the selected film can supply full production information.
D. The following submission materials must be submitted to the Academy by 5 p.m. PT on Monday,
October 2, 2023:
- Completed online submission forms
- Digital upload of the film for streaming purposes
- [For Internal Use Only] A secure and password-protected link to the film. This is required to test
- Full cast and credits list
- Director’s biography and photograph
- A designated key frame for streaming display artwork
- A poster from the film’s theatrical release, for archival purposes
- Proof of the film’s qualifying theatrical release, including but not limited to advertising
E. Entrants whose films advance to the shortlist must submit either one 35mm or 70mm film print or one
DCP of the film after the shortlist is announced. By submitting a film, the filmmakers agree that the
Academy has the right to make copies and distribute them for voting purposes only. The Academy
will retain for its archives one print of every motion picture receiving a nomination for the International
Feature Film award.
A. International Feature Film nominations will be determined in two rounds of voting:
- All active and life Academy members will be invited to view the eligible submissions in the
category. Those who opt in will be required to see a minimum number of submitted eligible films
as defined by the current procedures. Members will vote by secret ballot in the order of their
preference for not more than fifteen motion pictures. The fifteen motion pictures receiving the
highest number of votes shall advance to next round of voting.
- All active and life Academy members will be invited to view the fifteen shortlisted films in the
category. A member must see all shortlisted films for the ballot to be counted. Members shall
vote in the order of their preference for not more than five motion pictures. The five motion
pictures receiving the highest number of votes shall become the nominations for final voting for
the International Feature Film award.
B. Final voting for the International Feature Film award shall be restricted to active and life Academy
members who have viewed all five nominated films.
C. The Academy statuette (Oscar) will be awarded to the film and accepted by the director on behalf of
the film’s creative talents. For Academy Awards purposes, the country will be credited as the
nominee. The director’s name will be listed on the statuette plaque after the country and film title.
V. ADVERTISING AND PUBLICITY RESTRICTIONS
In addition to complying with the Awards Rules for the 96th Academy Awards, all participants in the
Awards competition are also bound by the Awards Campaign Promotional Regulations concerning
the promotion of eligible films and are subject to the penalties provided therein, including the potential
declaration of ineligibility by the Board of Governors for violation of those guidelines.
VI. ELIGIBILITY IN OTHER CATEGORIES
A. International Feature Film submissions may be submitted for consideration for the 96th Academy
Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they comply with the rules governing
B. Films submitted for consideration in the International Feature Film category for the 96th Academy
Awards are NOT eligible for consideration in other awards categories in the subsequent year, nor
could the films have been submitted in other awards categories in a previous year.
Stats, Notes and Superlatives
Submissions with women directors or co-directors: Austria, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Panama, Switzerland, Tunisia
Submissions with LGBTQ+ subjects or themes: Taiwan
Animated submissions: Hungary, Poland
Documentary submissions: Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Morocco, Norway, Palestine, Panama, Tunisia, Ukraine
Countries with potential eligibility issues:
Countries submitting for the first time:
2024 Oscars: International Feature Film Oscar Submissions
|Albania||Alexander||Ardit Sadiku (1st)||16th submission for Albania, which has yet to be nominated|
|Armenia||Amerikatsi||Michael A. Goorjian (1st)||Variance Films||13th submission for Armenia, which has yet to be nominated|
|Australia||Shayda||Noora Niasari (1st)||Sony Pictures Classics||16th submission for Australia, which has been nominated once|
|Austria||Vera||Tizza Covi (2nd), Rainer Frimmel (2nd)||47th submission for Austria, which has been nominated four times and won twice (2007's The Counterfeiters, 2012's Amour)|
|Bangladesh||No Ground Beneath the Feet||Mohammad Rabby Mridha (1st)||19th submission for Bangladesh, which has yet to be nominated|
|Belgium||Omen||Baloji (1st)||Utopia||48th submission for Belgium, which has been nominated eight times|
|Bhutan||The Monk and the Gun||Pawo Choyning Dorji (2nd)||4th submission for Bhutan, which has been nominated once|
|Bolivia||The Visitor||Martín Boulocq (1st)||15th submission for Bolivia, which has yet to be nominated|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Excursion||Una Gunjak (1st)||23rd submission for Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has been nominated twice and won once (2001's No Man's Land)|
|Brazil||Pictures of Ghosts||Kleber Mendonça Filho (2nd)||Grasshopper Film||53rd submission for Brazil, which has been nominated four times|
|Bulgaria||Blaga's Lesson||Stephan Komandarev (3rd)||34th submission for Bulgaria, which has yet to be nominated|
|Canada||Rojek||Zayne Akyol (1st)||Icarus Films||49th submission for Canada, which has been nominated seven times and won once (2003's The Barbarian Invasions)|
|Chile||The Settlers||Felipe Gálvez Haberle (1st)||MUBI||28th submission for Chile, which has been nominated twice|
|Colombia||A Male||Fabián Hernández Alvarado (1st)||32nd submission for Colombia, which has been nominated once|
|Croatia||Traces||Dubravka Turic (1st)||33rd submission for Croatia, which has yet to be nominated|
|Czechia||Brothers||Tomáš Mašín (1st)||30th submission for Czechia since the split of Czechoslovakia, which has been nominated three times and won once (1996's Kolya). Prior to the split, Czechoslovakia was nominated six times and won twice (1965's The Shop on Main Street, 1967's Closely Watched Trains)|
|Denmark||The Promised Land||Nikolaj Arcel (2nd)||Magnolia Pictures||61st submission for Denmark, which has been nominated 14 times and won four (1987's Pelle the Conquerer, 1988's Babette's Feast, 2010's In a Better World, 2020's Another Round)|
|Egypt||Voy! Voy! Voy!||Omar Hilal (1st)||37th submission for Egypt, which has yet to be nominated|
|Estonia||Smoke Sauna Sisterhood||Anna Hints (1st)||21st submission for Estonia, which has been nominated once|
|Finland||Fallen Leaves||Aki Kaurismäki (1st)||MUBI||37th submission for Finland, which has been nominated once|
|France||The Taste of Things||Tran Anh Hung (1st for France, 3rd overall)||IFC Films||71st submission for France, which has been nominated 40 times and won 12 times (including 3 Honorary)|
|Georgia||Citizen Saint||Tinatin Kajrishvili (1st)||22nd submission for Georgia, which has been nominated once|
|Germany||The Teachers' Lounge||Ilker Çatak (1st)||Sony Pictures Classics||64th overall submission for Germany both pre and post-unification in 1990, Germany has been nominated 21 times and won four times (1979's The Tin Drum, 2002's Nowhere in Africa, 2006's The Lives of Others, 2022's All Quiet on the Western Front)|
|Greece||Behind the Haystacks||Asimina Proedrou (1st)||43rd submission for Greece, which has been nominated five times|
|Hungary||Four Souls of the Coyote||Aron Gauder (1st)||59th submission for Hungary, which has been nominated 10 times and won twice (1981's Mephisto, 2015's Son of Saul)|
|Iceland||Godland||Hlynur Pálmason (1st)||Janus Films||44th submission for Iceland, which has been nominated once|
|Indonesia||Autobiography||Makbul Mubarak (1st)||33rd submission for Indonesia, which has yet to be nominated|
|Iran||The Night Guardian||Reza Mirkarimi (2nd)||26th submission for Iran, which has been nominated three times and won twice (2011's A Separation and 2016's The Salesman, both from Asghar Farhadi)|
|Iraq||Hanging Gardens||Ahmed Al-Daradji (1st)||12th submission for Iraq, which has yet to be nominated|
|Israel||Seven Blessings||Ayelet Menahemi (1st)||56th submission for Israel, which has been nominated 10 times but has yet to win - a record in this category|
|Italy||lo, Capitano||Matteo Garrone (3rd)||70th submission for Italy, which has been nominated 32 times, won 14 times|
|Japan||Perfect Days||Wim Wenders (1st)||NEON||70th submission for Japan, which has been nominated 17 times and won five (three honorary then 2008's Departures and 2021's Drive My Car)|
|Jordan||Inshallah a Boy||Amjad Al-Rasheed (1st)||7th submission for Jordan, which has been nominated once|
|Kenya||Mvera||Daudi Anguka (1st)||8th submission for Kenya, which has yet to be nominated|
|Kyrgyzstan||This Is What I Remember||Aktan Abdykalykov (5th)||16th submission for Kyrgyzstan, which has yet to be nominated|
|Latvia||My Freedom||Ilze Kunga-Melgaile (1st)||15th submission for Latvia, which has yet to be nominated|
|Lithuania||Slow||Marija Kavtaradze (1st)||16th submission for Lithuania, which has yet to be nominated|
|Luxembourg||The Last Ashes||Loïc Tanson (1st)||19th submission for Luxembourg, which has yet to be nominated|
|Mexico||Tótem||Lila Avilés (2nd)||Janus FIlms/Sideshow||56th submission for Mexico, which has been nominated nine times and won once (2018's Roma)|
|Moldova||Thunder||Ioane Bobeica (1st)||4th submission for Moldova, which has yet to be nominated|
|Montenegro||Sirin||Senad Šahmanović||10th submission for Montenegro, which has yet to be nominated|
|Morocco||The Mother of All Lies||Asmae El Moudir (1st)||19th submission for Morocco, which has yet to be nominated|
|Nepal||Halkara||Bikram Sapkota (1st)||13th submission for Nepal, which has been nominated once|
|Netherlands||Sweet Dreams||Ena Sendijarević (1st)||56th submission for Netherlands, which has been has been nominated 7 times and won 3 times (1987's The Assault, 1996's Antonia's Line, 1998's Character)|
|North Macedonia||Housekeeping for Beginners||Goran Stolevski (1st for NM, 2nd overall)||Focus Features||20th submission for North Macedonia, which has been nominated twice|
|Norway||Songs of Earth||Margreth Olin (2nd)||45th submission for Norway, which has been nominated six times|
|Palestine||Bye Bye Tiberias||Lina Soualem (1st)||16th submission for Palestine, which has been nominated twice|
|Panama||Tito, Margot & Me||Mercedes Arias (2nd), Delfina Vidal (2nd)||10th submission for Panama, which has yet to be nominated|
|Paraguay||The Last Runaway 2||Armando Aquino (1st), Mauricio Rial (1st)||7th submission for Paraguay, which has yet to be nominated|
|Peru||The Erection of Toribio Bardelli||Adrian Sava (2nd)||30th submission for Peru, which has been nominated once|
|Poland||The Peasants||DK Welchman (1st), Hugh Welchman (1st)||Anonymous Content||55th submission for Poland, which has been nominated 13 times and won once (2014's Ida)|
|Portugal||Bad Living||João Canijo (3rd)||40th submission for Portugal, which has yet to be nominated|
|Romania||Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of The World||Radu Jude (4th)||MUBI||39th submission for Romania, which has been nominated once|
|Serbia||Because My Thoughts Are Struggling||Milorad Milinković (1st)||30th submission for Serbia, which has yet to be nominated|
|Slovakia||Photophobia||Ivan Ostrochovský (2nd), Pavol Pekarčík (1st)||27th submission for Slovakia, which has yet to be nominated|
|Slovenia||Riders||Dominik Menceja (1st)||27th submission for Slovenia, which has yet to be nominated|
|South Korea||Concrete Utopia||Um Tae-haw (1st)||36th submission for South Korea, which has been nominated and won once (2019's Parasite)|
|Spain||Society of the Snow||J.A. Bayona (1st)||Netflix||66th submission for Spain, which has been nominated 20 times and won four (1982's Begin the Beguine, 1993's Belle Époque, 1999's All About My Mother, 2004's The Sea Inside)|
|Sudan||Goodbye Julia||Mohammed Kordofani (1st)||2nd submission for Sudan, which has yet to be nominated|
|Sweden||Opponent||Milad Alami (1st)||63rd submission for Sweden, which has been nominated 16 times and won three times, all for Ingmar Bergman films (1960's The Virgin Spring, 1961's Through a Glass Darkly, 1983's Fanny and Alexander)|
|Switzerland||Thunder||Carmen Jaquier (1st)||Dekanolog||51st submission for Switzerland, which has been nominated five times and won twice (1984's Dangerous Moves, 1990's Journey of Hope)|
|Taiwan||Marry My Dead Body||Cheng Wei-hao (1st)||Netflix||49th submission for Taiwan, which has been nominated three times (all for Ang Lee films) and won once (2000's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)|
|Tajikistan||Melody||Behrouz Sebt Rasoul (1st)||3rd submission for Tajikistan (and its first since 2005), which has yet to be nominated|
|Tunisia||Four Daughters||Kaouther Ben Hania (3rd)||Kino Lorber||10th submission for Tunisia, which has been nominated once|
|Turkey||About Dry Grasses||Nuri Bilge Ceylan (6th)||Janus FIlms/Sideshow||30th submission for Turkey, which has yet to be nominated|
|Ukraine||20 Days at Mariupol||Mstyslav Chernov (1st)||Frontline/AP||16th submission for Ukraine, which has yet to be nominated|
|United Kingdom||The Zone of Interest||Jonathan Glazer (1st)||A24||20th submission for United Kingdom, which has been nominated twice|
|Uruguay||Family Albums||Guillermo Rocamora (1st)||23rd submission for Uruguay, which has been nominated once (1992's A Place in the World) but was then disqualified and the nomination rescinded|
|Yemen||The Burdened||Amr Gamal (2nd)||3rd submission for Yemen, which has yet to be nominated|