Oscars shortlist includes Collective and MLK/FBI

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An expose about government corruption around a Bucharest nightclub fire, a look into the extent of the FBI’s surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. and an exploration of the origins of the disability rights movement are among the documentary films that are advancing to the next round of Oscar voting.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday unveiled its shortlists for several categories, including documentary feature, international feature, original song, original score, visual effects and makeup and hairstyling. Titles as diverse as Tenet (for score and visual effects), Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (for the original song “Wuhan Flu”), Eurovision Song Contest (for song) and Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story (for score, song and makeup) are in the initial mix.

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Academy Award nominations will be announced on March 15.

The documentary category includes Collective, MLK/FBI, Netflix’s Crip Camp and Dick Johnson is Dead. The competitive list also has The Truffle Hunters, Time, Boys State, All In: The Fight for Democracy, about voter suppression, Welcome to Chechnya, about Russia’s anti-LGBTQ efforts, and 76 Days, about the early pandemic in Wuhan.

The 15 films were culled from 238 eligible titles. Somewhat surprisingly, Bryan Fogel’s Jamal Khashoggi assassination documentary The Dissident was not included. Fogel’s previous film Icarus won the Academy Award.

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Romania’s Collective is also one of the 15 films shortlisted for international feature, as are France’s Two of Us, Denmark’s Another Round, Mexico’s I’m No Longer Here, Chile’s The Mole Agent, Hong Kong’s Better Days, Iran’s Sun Children and Guatemala’s La Llorona. A record 93 countries submitted for consideration. The Korean American film Minari, which was controversially nominated for a foreign language Golden Globe, was not eligible in the same category for the Oscars.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross could find themselves double nominees, as both Soul and Mank were shortlisted for original score. Others include Ludwig Göransson for Tenet, Emile Mosseri for Minari and James Newton Howard for News of the World.

Original songs that made the shortlist in addition to “Wuhan Flu” include Janelle Monáe’s “Turntables,” from All In: The Fight for Democracy, Leslie Odom, Jr.‘s “Speak Now,” from One Night in Miami…, John Legend’s “Never Break,” from Giving Voice and H.E.R.’s “Fight for You,” from Judas and the Black Messiah. Justin Timberlake’s “Just Sing,” from Trolls World Tour did not make the cut.

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Winners will be announced at the 93rd Oscars on April 25.

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