‘Birdshot’ ranked by Oscar prediction site as ‘top tier contender’

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Mary Joy Apostol with black German shepherd Argo who plays Bala, in a scene from 'Birdshot.'

Almost a month after the Film Academy of the Philippines selected Mikhail Red’s “Birdshot” as the country’s official entry to the Best Foreign Language category of the 90th Academy Awards, it looks like the campaign to earn the country’s first ever Oscar nomination is off to a rousing start.

AwardsCircuit.com, a reputable entertainment site specializing in Oscar predictions, has ranked the film described by Hollywood bible Variety as “a gripping combination of police procedural and coming-of-age drama” as among its Top Tier Contenders for the coveted award.

Of the record 95 submissions for the foreign language category this year, “Birdshot” is currently ranked number 12 and is one of only two Southeast Asian films in the fearless forecast.

The other is Cambodia’s “First They Killed My Father” directed by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, who also happens to be of dual American and Cambodian citizenship. Jolie’s film is ranked number one and is considered the frontrunner for the foreign language award.

Other films in the mix are Germany’s “In The Fade,” Finland’s “Tom of Finland,” Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman,” Austria’s “Happy End,” Egypt’s “Sheikh Jackson,” Sweden’s “The Square,” Russia’s “Loveless,” France’s “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” Norway’s “Thelma,” and Switzerland’s “The Divine Order.”

In a recent interview with InterAksyon, Red said that as part of their Oscar campaign, they are now in the process of getting a distributor for a planned a North American release of the film to generate more buzz. He added that Globe Studios, which co-produced the film with TBA Studios, is also helping in the film’s Oscar campaign.

Producers Fernando Ortigas and Eduardo Rocha of TBA admitted that the road to the Oscars will not be easy. So yes, a favorable review from a respected Hollywood trade publication like Variety helps a great deal.

In explaining how tough it is to earn one of the five coveted slots for the Oscar nomination for
Best Foreign Language Film, another Oscar prediction site, GoldDerby.com reported that it involves a two-step process that began after the October 2 deadline for countries to submit entries.

“First, the several hundred Academy members of the Foreign-Language Film screening committee are divided into groups and required to watch a number of the submissions over a two-month period that ends in mid December. They will rate them from 6 to 10 and their top six vote-getters make it to the next round, as will three films added by the 20 members of the executive committee.

“Those nine semi-finalists will be screened three per day beginning in early January by select committee members in both New York and Hollywood who will then vote for the final five which will be revealed, along with the other Oscar nominations on January 23, 2018.”

“The entire Academy membership will get screeners of these five films and vote for the winner, which will be revealed on the Oscars on March 4, 2018.”