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Invitation for South African filmmakers to submit films for the 95th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) International Feature Film category.

By 19 July 2022No Comments

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, is extending a call to all South African producers to submit their films for entry into the         95th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars). The Academy has opened a call for entry for International Feature Film Award, inviting South Africans to submit their feature films for consideration.

The NFVF is officially recognised by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to make submissions on behalf of the South African Film industry.

The closing date for submissions is the 29 August 2022, 17h00. The South African Academy Selection Committee will choose one film as the country’s official submission for the International Feature Film Award.

Country-selected films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available through a reputable commercial streaming distribution service or video on demand may qualify for Awards consideration in the International Feature Film category for the 95th Academy Awards under these provisions:

  • Provide to the Academy documentation (original document(s) and an English translation) of government-mandated theater/cinema closure dates, previously planned theatrical release and streaming distribution or video on demand agreements;
  • Meet all other eligibility requirements.

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. The International Feature Film Executive Committee will evaluate all matters of rules and eligibility.

Participation in a film festival’s online/virtual platform will not affect a film’s eligibility for Awards consideration provided the festival has a transactional pay wall or password-protected entry. Film festival participation does not qualify a film in the International Feature Film category. Films must comply with all other eligibility requirements for the 95th Academy Awards.

To be eligible for entry

  1. 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.
  1. The country-selected film must be first released in the country of origin no earlier than January 1, 2022, and no later than November 30, 2022, 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. 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 D-Cinema Packaging – Immersive Audio Track File and packaged in conformance with SMPTE 429-19:2019 D-Cinema Packaging – DCP Operational Constraints for Immersive Audio.

  • 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.
  • Films that, in any version, receive a non-theatrical public exhibition or distribution before their qualifying theatrical release will not be eligible for Academy Awards consideration. Non-theatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:
  • Broadcast and cable television
  • DVD distribution
  • Inflight airline distribution
  • Internet transmission
  • 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 English-language subtitles are required.
  • The submitting country must confirm that creative control of the film was largely in the hands of citizens or residents of the submitting country.
  • 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.
  • The International Feature Film Executive Committee shall resolve all questions of eligibility and rules.
  1. 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 that should 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 Monday, August 15, 2022, 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, 2022, for eligibility in the following (96th) Awards year. A country need not submit a film every year for Awards consideration.
  • 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


  • 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.
  • The following submission materials must be submitted to the Academy by 5 p.m. PT on Monday, October 3, 2022:
  • Completed online submission forms
  • One 35mm or 70mm film print or DCP with accurate, legible English-language subtitles. The print or DCP submitted for Awards consideration must be identical in content and length to the print or DCP used in the film’s qualifying theatrical release.
  • Digital media content
  • [FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY] A secure and password-protected link to the film OR 50 DVDs of the entry. This is required to test non-English dialogue. Link and DVD versions must be without trailers or other extraneous material, capable of playing on Region 0/NTSC standard definition DVD players. DVDs must be in individual paper sleeves and must include the film title, running time and country only. No artwork, promotional material, contact information, company name or film logo is acceptable on the DVD labels or sleeves.
  • 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
  • Film prints, DCPs and DVDs submitted will be retained by the Academy throughout the voting process and are not available for loan. By submitting a film, the filmmaker agrees 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. Additional prints and DCPs of those films receiving nominations will be returned to the sender at the Academy’s expense.
  1. International Feature Film nominations will be determined in two rounds of voting:
  2. The International Feature Film Preliminary Committee will view the eligible submissions in the category and vote by secret ballot to produce a shortlist of fifteen films.
  3. The International Feature Film Nominating Committee must view the fifteen shortlisted films and vote by secret ballot to determine the category’s five nominees.
  • Final voting for the International Feature Film award shall be restricted to active and life Academy members who have viewed all five nominated films.
  • 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.
  1. In addition to complying with the Awards Rules for the 95th Academy Awards, all participants in the Awards competition are also bound by the Academy Campaign 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. The Regulations can be found at
  1. International Feature Film submissions may be submitted for consideration for the 95th Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they comply with the rules governing those categories.
  • Films submitted for consideration in the International Feature Film category for the 95th 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.

Eligible films should be sent no later than 29 August 2022, 17h00 for attention:

The South African Academy Awards Selection Committee

c/o Sibusiso Ketwa,

National Film and Video Foundation

87 Central Street Houghton, 2198

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