Australia has submitted films for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film[nb 1] since 1996. The award is handed out annually by the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.[3] As of 2021, fourteen Australian films have been submitted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and one, Tanna, has been nominated for the award.[4] The Australian submission is selected by a committee of Australian industry professionals convened and selected by Screen Australia.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited the film industries of various countries to submit their best film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since 1956.[5] The Foreign Language Film Award Committee oversees the process and reviews all the submitted films. Following this, they vote via secret ballot to determine the five nominees for the award.[3] Below is a list of the films that have been submitted by Australia for review by the Academy for the award by year and the respective Academy Awards ceremony.

Film title used in nomination Original title Language(s) Director Result
Floating Life Floating Life Cantonese, English, German Clara Law Not nominated
La Spagnola La Spagnola Spanish, English, Italian Steve Jacobs Not nominated
Ten Canoes Ten Canoes Yolngu Matha, Kunwinjku,
Rolf de Heer Not nominated
The Home Song Stories The Home Song Stories Cantonese, English, Mandarin Tony Ayres Not nominated
Samson and Delilah[6] Samson and Delilah Warlpiri, English Warwick Thornton Made shortlist
Lore[7] Lore German Cate Shortland Not nominated
The Rocket[8] The Rocket Lao Kim Mordaunt Not nominated
Charlie's Country[9] Charlie's Country Yolngu Matha Rolf de Heer Not nominated
Arrows of the Thunder Dragon[10] Arrows of the Thunder Dragon Dzongkha Greg Sneddon Not nominated
Tanna[11] Tanna Nauvhal Martin Butler, Bentley Dean Nominated[4]
The Space Between[12] The Space Between Italian Ruth Borgobello Not nominated
Jirga[13] Jirga Pashto Benjamin Gilmour Not nominated
Buoyancy[14] Buoyancy Khmer, Thai Rodd Rathjen Not nominated
When Pomegranates Howl[15] When Pomegranates Howl Pashto, Persian Granaz Moussavi Not nominated

As a majority-English-speaking country, Australia only infrequently sends non-English language movies to the Oscars. Three of their first five submissions were stories of the lives of immigrants to Australia. Australia's first submission, Floating Life is a drama about Cantonese immigrants from Hong Kong who reunite with their daughter who moved to Australia several years before. The second submission, La Spagnola is a black comedy about a pregnant Spanish immigrant who is deserted by her husband after arriving in Australia. A subsequent submission, The Home Song Stories is about a Chinese woman from Shanghai who moves to Australia with her two children after marrying an Australian citizen. Both principal actors, Clara Law and Tony Ayres, were born in Macau and became naturalized Australian citizens.

Australia's 2006, 2009 and 2014 submissions were Aboriginal Australian stories. Ten Canoes was the first feature film made primarily in one of Australia's Aboriginal languages.[16] The film, set before the arrival of white Australian settlers, tells a story within a story, about what happens when a young man falls for one of the brides of the local chief. Samson & Delilah, the first Australian film to make an Oscar shortlist, won the Camera d'Or at Cannes in 2009, and focused on a teenaged Aboriginal couple on the run.

See also


  1. ^ The category was previously named the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but this was changed to the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in April 2019, after the Academy deemed the word "Foreign" to be outdated.[1][2]


  1. ^ "Academy announces rules for 92nd Oscars". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Academy Announces Rule Changes For 92nd Oscars". Forbes. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Rule Thirteen: Special Rules for the Foreign Language Film Award". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Oscars 2017: The full nominations". BBC News. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  5. ^ "History of the Academy Awards - Page 2". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  6. ^ Runner-up: Van Diemen's Land, directed by Jonathan auf der Heide. Source: Archived 1 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Australian film Lore up for an Oscar". Vogue. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Australian film The Rocket has a shot at the Oscars". The Australian. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Oscars: Australia Selects 'Charlie's Country' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  10. ^ Maddox, Garry (9 October 2015). "Arrows the Thunder Dragon: the Australian Oscar contender you won't have heard of". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  11. ^ Frater, Patrick (23 August 2016). "Australia Selects 'Tanna' as Foreign-Language Oscar Contender". Variety. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  12. ^ Kilday, Gregg (5 October 2017). "Oscars: 92 Films Submitted in Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  13. ^ Groves, Don (9 October 2018). "'Jirga' is Australia's submission for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar". If. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  14. ^ Frater, Patrick (25 September 2019). "Australia Floats Buoyancy as Its Oscars Contender". Variety. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Oscars Race: Australia Selects Afghanistan Coproduction 'When Pomegranates Howl'". Variety. 24 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Ten Canoes (2006) - IMDb". IMDb. Archived from the original on 11 September 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2021.