Academy Award for Best International Feature Film

The Academy Award for Best International Feature Film (known as Best Foreign Language Film prior to 2020) is one of the Academy Awards handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.[1]

Academy Award for Best International Feature Film
Awarded forExcellence in International Film with a predominantly non-English dialogue track
CountryUnited States
Presented byAcademy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)
Formerly calledAcademy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (until 2020)
First awarded1947 (awarded to Shoeshine)
Most recent winnerDrive My Car (2021)

When the first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929, to honor films released in 1927/28, there was no separate category for foreign language films because most of the films released in 1927 and in 1928 were silent films. Between 1947 and 1955, the academy presented Special/Honorary Awards to the best foreign language films released in the United States. These awards, however, were not handed out on a regular basis (no award was given in 1953), and were not competitive since there were no nominees but simply one winning film per year. For the 1956 (29th) Academy Awards, a competitive Academy Award of Merit, known as the Best Foreign Language Film Award, was created for non-English speaking films, and has been given annually since then.

Unlike other Academy Awards, the International Feature Film award is not presented to a specific individual (although it is accepted on-stage by its director), but is considered an award for the submitting country as a whole. Over the years, the Best International Feature Film Award and its predecessors have been given predominantly to European films: out of the seventy-two awards handed out by the academy since 1947 to foreign language films, fifty-seven have gone to European films,[2] seven to Asian films,[3] five to films from the Americas and three to African films. Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini directed four Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award–winning motion pictures during his lifetime, a record that remains unmatched as of 2015 (if Special Awards are taken into account, then Fellini's record is tied by his countryman Vittorio De Sica).

The most awarded foreign country is Italy, with 14 awards won (including three Special Awards) and 29 nominations, while France is the foreign country with the most nominations (37 for 12 wins, including three Special Awards). Israel is the foreign country with the most nominations (10) without winning an award, while Portugal has the most submissions (34) without a nomination. In 2020 (92nd), South Korea's entrant Parasite became the first International Feature Film winner, and first non-English film overall, to also win Best Picture.[4]

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