Oscars - OkayAfrica

Ivory Coast and Tunisia Make Oscars 'International Feature Film' Shortlist

Still taken from YouTube trailer.

Ivory Coast & Tunisia Secure Spots on 2021 Oscars Shortlist

Ivory Coast's 'Night of the Kings' and Tunisia's 'The Man Who Sold His Skin' have made it onto this year's Oscars shortlist under the 'International Feature Film' category. They are the only African films on the shortlist.

This year's Oscars shortlist has been released with nine different categories including "Documentary Feature", "Documentary Short Subject", "International Feature Film", "Makeup and Hairstyling", "Music (Original Score)", "Music (Original Song)", "Animated Short Film", "Live Action Short Film" and "Visual Effects". Two African films, Night of the Kings from the Ivory Coast and The Man Who Sold His Skin from Tunisia, have secured spots on the shortlist under the "International Feature Film" category. Official voting for the Oscars nominations are reportedly set to take place next month from March 5th-10th with the nominees announced by the Academy on the 15th.

READ: Watch Trevor Noah Talk About the Lack of Diversity in the 2020 Oscar Nominations

As is always the case each year, everyone is waiting with baited breath to see whether this year's 93rd Academy Awards will be any different, with regards to its conspicuous lack of diversity, compared to its previous awards shows. While that remains to be seen, there can be at least some celebration with two stellar African feature films having made it onto this year's shortlist.

Ivory Coast's Night of the Kings, directed by Philippe Lacôte, tells the story of a young Ivorian man who arrives at the notorious La Maca prison and is tasked with telling a story that may very well prove the difference between life and death. The bold feature film centres on "telling tales to a captive audience" as The New York Times aptly puts it.

Watch the trailer for Night of the Kings below:

NIGHT OF THE KINGS Official Trailer (2021) Drama, Fantasy Movie

Tunisia's The Man Who Sold His Skin tells the story of Sam, a Syrian refugee, who allows an art guru to use his back as a canvas and subsequently finds travelling through Europe as an artwork much easier than as a refugee. However, he soon discovers that what he had initially imagined as freedom, is quite the opposite. Variety has pegged the film as a strong contender at this year's Oscars and describes the director Kaouther Ben Hania's inspiration as having been the "Belgian artist Wim Delvoye who tattooed and signed the back of a man called Tim," adding that, "The piece was sold to a German art collector and Tim is contractually obliged to spend a certain amount of time, topless and sitting still, in a gallery every year."

Watch the trailer for The Man Who Sold His Skin below via the Tokyo International Film Festival:

『皮膚を売った男』クリップ|The Man Who Sold His Skin - Clip|第33回東京国際映画祭 33rd Tokyo International Film

Below is the full Oscars shortlist released thus far:

Best documentary

All In: The Fight for Democracy

Boys State


Crip Camp

Dick Johnson Is Dead



The Mole Agent

My Octopus Teacher


The Painter and the Thief

76 Days


The Truffle Hunters

Welcome to Chechnya

Best short documentary

Abortion Helpline, This Is Lisa

Call Center Blues


A Concerto Is a Conversation

Do Not Split

Hunger Ward

Hysterical Girl

A Love Song for Latasha

The Speed Cubers

What Would Sophia Loren Do?

Best international film

Another Round

Better Days



Dear Comrades!


I'm No Longer Here

La Llorona

The Man Who Sold His Skin

The Mole Agent

Night of the Kings

Quo Vadis, Aida?

A Sun

Sun Children

Two of Us

Best makeup and hair

Birds of Prey


The Glorias

Hillbilly Elegy

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

The Little Things

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom


One Night in Miami


Best score


Blizzard of Souls

Da 5 Bloods

The Invisible Man

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

The Life Ahead

The Little Things


The Midnight Sky



News of the World



The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best song

Turntables, All In: The Fight for Democracy

See What You've Done, Belly of the Beast

Wuhan Flu, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Húsavík, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Never Break, Giving Voice

Make It Work, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Fight for You, Judas and the Black Messiah

lo Sì (Seen), The Life Ahead

Rain Song, Minari

Show Me Your Soul, Mr Soul!

Loyal Brave True, Mulan

Free, The One and Only Ivan

Speak Now, One Night in Miami

Green, Sound of Metal

Hear My Voice, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best animated short


Genius Loci

If Anything Happens I Love You




The Snail and the Whale

To Gerard



Best live-action short


Da Yie

Feeling Through

The Human Voice

The Kicksled Choir

The Letter Room

The Present

Two Distant Strangers

The Van

White Eye

Best visual effects

Birds of Prey


Love and Monsters


The Midnight Sky


The One and Only Ivan



Welcome to Chechnya