There are 15 films on the shortlist in this category – watch several of them yourself by clicking on the hyperlinked titles! Astoundingly, this film is short on American or English-language representation, with just one film – from Ireland – lacking subtitles. Let’s unpack the shortlist.
Plastic Killer may be the darkest film on this list, though it does have a comedic undercurrent involving a plastic bag that one woman loves just a bit too much, while The Lone Wolf starts from a jovial point and encounters deadly seriousness as it progresses. Nakam and Almost Home both find protagonists grappling with life-or-death circumstances, in Nazi-era Ukraine and space, respectively. Ivalu and The Red Suitcase both showcase young girls in distress. All in Favorand Night Ride explore capability through unexpected circumstances. Warsha, Sideral, An Irish Goodbye, and The Right Words find wondrous humor and warmth in situations that should feel much more serious. Le Pupille, The Treatment, and Tula are all fun and witty, presenting stakes that aren’t all that high and delivering entertainment above all else, even if the situation shouldn’t be inherently funny.
Typically, voters have rewarded films with disturbing themes, so the presence of so many more uplifting projects might make the race interesting.
Predictions: Le Pupille, Night Ride, Sideral, The Treatment, Warsha