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Record Number Of Non-English-Language Movies Take Home Oscar Statuettes

Non-English-language movies stormed the Oscars this year, with five films taking home statuettes — the most ever in one ceremony.

Justine Triet and Arthur Harari’s Best Screenplay Academy Award for French-language courtroom drama Anatomy of a Fall followed three past non-English-language winners: Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019), Pedro Almodóvar’s Talk To Her (2002) and A Man and a Woman by Claude Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven (1966).

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The Best Sound Academy Award for Jonathan Glazer’s German-language Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest marked a first for a non-English-language film. The pic also clinched Best International Feature Film.

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The Best Animation Oscar for The Boy and the Heron marked a second Academy Award for Japanese animation maestro Hayao Miyazaki, who took co-directing credits with Toshio Suzuki.

Miyazaki previously triumphed in the category in its second year of existence in 2002 with Spirited Away. He is the only director to have taken the Statuette home for a non-English animation to date, even if foreign language titles are regularly nominated in the category.

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In other categories, Ukrainian director Mstyslav Chernov’s Russian-Ukrainian-English language documentary 20 Days In Mariupol took Best Documentary.

Four of this year’s five Best Documentary contenders were international films and all five films had international subjects.

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However, again, despite the fact that non-English-language feature documentaries are regularly nominated, they rarely clinch the top prize.

Previous non-English-language winners to date are Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s French-language World Without Sun and Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau’s March of the Penguins (2005).

Elsewhere in the awards, Japanese director Takashi Yamazaki’s Godzilla Minus One made history as the first ever non-English language film to clinch the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

The win also landed Japanese film company Toho a top slot in Deadline’s distributors chart by Oscars, ahead of Amazon MGM, Focus Features, Neon, PBS and Warner Bros, chart due to the fact that it also distributed Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron.

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This year’s Academy Awards were already proving buzzy for non-English-language productions at the nomination stage after Anatomy of a Fall and The Zone of Interest clinched nominations for Best Film and Best Director.

Other non-English language films scoring nominations outside of the international category included Spanish-language Society of the SnowRobot Dreams and Pablo Larrain’s El Conde.

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