As we reported last week, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan has been named the official entry of the Philippines to the Academy Awards. Thanks to everyone who saw the movie, who told their friends about it, who spread the word about a 4-hour, 10-minute indie arthouse movie that, on paper, didn’t stand a chance against the heavily-advertised, big budget mainstream productions.
Next, we try to get into the shortlist of five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film.
IndieWire says Norte has a chance. We expect favorable notice from awards prediction sites in the coming weeks. But every country has an entry, and many of them are worthy contenders, too.
Lav Diaz is too cool to campaign for a nomination, but (speaking for ourself) we’re not. We want that nomination. What we need is to be adopted by a major Hollywood player who will throw their weight behind Norte, The End of History and get Academy members to consider supporting it for the Oscars. Maybe throw us a party. And this is the first name that popped into our massive head: Robert Downey, Jr. He’s as major a Hollywood player as it gets, we have a feeling he’ll like Norte, and we do love him.
Robert Downey, Jr., adopt us.
(Does anyone know anyone who knows RDJ? In real life, not in your fan fiction.)
Update: Moira Lang, mother of Norte, spoke to Norte’s US distributor Cinema Guild. They explained how a film gets into the shortlist. Basically, it’s a crapshoot. A small committee chooses the entries out of all the submissions. Often, the film agency of the country which submitted the film hires a PR agency to boost the film’s chances of becoming one of the five nominees.
Once a movie gets into the shortlist, its chances become one in five, so that’s when the producers throw everything they have at selling Norte to Academy voters.
Next week we’ll know if the Philippine government through the Film Development Council will support Norte’s Oscar campaign. It’s in everyone’s best interest.