The Academy: Fixing a Damaged Relationship with International Cinema

03/04/2022

Though the Academy Awards are and have always been recognized by the public as an American award show for film, much has changed within the past few years both in relation to the medium and beyond that has caused the Academy to reconsider its values and relationships with movies abroad. See, the Academy (also referred to as "The Oscars") usually has its members focus on American films and those in the English language when selecting their picks for their categories. Their preferences have been too often limited, resulting in categories such as Best Director, Best Actor/Actress, and most notoriously Best Picture all having one thing in common: their nominees being exclusively from films that are spoken in English and produced in America.  

Yet, as the world has attempted to strengthen ties from nation to nation and global relations are generally stronger than ever, it has become harder for the industry to ignore such changes. This has been coming for a long time - even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which pushed countries to stand together even more so - and the Academy felt that in order to improve their reputation with foreign cinema and its audiences, new measurements had to be implemented. The first way they were able to accomplish this was through improving their online media presence. Up until a few years ago, the Academy had brief and limited relations with those who followed their pages and subscribed to their YouTube channel. Now, however, there is a clear upgrade in organization-to-audience relations, with public dialogue between the parties and openness from the Academy to listen to their viewers' interests. In doing this, audience members took the opportunity to let the big cats in the industry know which films to look out for, and especially which ones they needed to take notice of overseas. 

It was this adjustment of a shaky reputation that ultimately led to a Korean film like Bong Joon-ho's Parasite winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It was this adherence to what the masses were telling them that landed Denmark's Another Round with a Best Director nomination and awarded the Korean-language film Minari with a Best Supporting Actress win (the first time that a performance in a non-English language had won in over a decade) the following year. Now, in 2022, Japan successfully landed its first-ever Best Picture nomination with Drive My Car and Noway's The Worst Person in the World similarly garnered enough fame online for the Academy to not ignore it and, instead, place it in the Best Original Screenplay category. The future of international cinema's success in America seems brighter than ever before, and it is in large part thanks to a triumphant PR team behind the scenes of the organization.