The Academy disqualifies another international feature film submission, this time from Austria

Director Sudabeh Mortezai. (Getty Images)
Director Sudabeh Mortezai. (Getty Images)

Cape Town – The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences has disqualified another best international feature Oscar consideration.

This comes after it barred Nigeria's first-ever Oscar submission, Lionheart, last week because it is a predominantly English language film.

READ MORE: The Academy disqualifies Nigeria's Oscar submission

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Austria's submission, Joy has now been ruled ineligible for the same reason.

The film written and directed by Sudabeh Mortezai centres Joy a Nigerian woman caught in the cycle of sex trafficking. She works the streets to pay off her debt and to send money home to her family in Nigeria. She has to mentor a new teenage girl from Nigeria about to go down the same path as her.

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2018 and is available to stream on Netflix. In 2018 it won the Best Film Award at the London Film Festival. 


A spokesperson for the Academy said in a statement that "the film was reviewed and found ineligible because only 33 percent of the dialogue is non-English", reports Variety.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Austrian selection committee was notified of the decision on Monday morning.

Director and academy member Ava Duvernay spoke out about the latest disqualification on Twitter.

She wrote: "Another one. How about letting countries submit the film they feel best represents its cinematic work in any given year? I'm really asking. There has to be a good reason for not. I want to understand, @TheAcademy. I know when the no English rule originated. But why? Please share."

Oscar nominations will be announced on Monday, 13 January 2020. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, 9 February.

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Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht. (Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Twitter)