List of Asian Films Nominated and Won Best International Film at the Oscar Awards

Best Foreign Films Asian

Formerly known as Best Foreign Language Film, the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film (Oscar Award) is given to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.

This competitive category in the Oscar Awards was given pretty late. Only in 1956 during the 29th Academy Awards. Between 1947 and 1955, the Academy Awards only presented Special/Honorary Awards for the best foreign language films released in the United States.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the first Asian film to win Best Foreign Film at the Oscars. Starring Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yeon-Fat, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen directed by Ang Lee

Unique Category 

Unlike other categories in the Oscar Awards, the Best International Feature Film is not presented to a specific individual (although it is accepted on-stage by its director or producer) but is considered an award for the submitting country, because it is the country that will submit its entry to the Oscar Awards through a committee of an expert in the film industry.

In the history of the Academy Awards, since Best Foreign Film became one of the competitive categories, it is noticeable that only a few Asian films ever managed to win the award, it is usually won by European films.

Out of the 72 Best International Film Awards handed out by the Academy, 57 of these have gone to European films, four wins and three special awards to Asian films, five to Americas (South and North), and three to African films.

The most awarded country in this category is Italy, with 14 awards and 3 special awards out of its 31 nominations, while France is the foreign country with the most nominations (37 for 12 wins). 

Departures Film Japan
Departures (Japan), the second Asian film to win Best Foreign Film at the Oscars


Unlike other categories in the Academy Awards, the Best International Feature Film Award does not require films to be released in the United States in order to be eligible for competition. 

Films competing in the category must have been first released in the country submitting them during the eligibility period defined by the rules of the academy and must have been exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial movie theater.

Here is the list of Nominated Asian Films (we only included countries around South Asia) by Country and the year they won.

1. Japan - 69 submissions (since 1951), 17 nominations, 2 wins, 3 special awards

Nominated films. Winners are indicated in blue:
  1. Rashomon (1951) directed by Akira Kurosawa - Honorary Award
  2.  Gate of Hell (1954) directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa - Honorary Award
  3. Samurai: The Legend of Musashi (1955) directed by Hiroshi Inagaki - Honorary Award
  4. Harp of Burma (1956) directed by Kon Ichikawa
  5. Immortal Love (1961) directed by Keisuke Kinoshita 
  6. Twin Sisters of Kyoto (1963) directed by Noboru Nakamura
  7. Woman in the Dunes (1964) directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
  8. Kwaidan (1965) directed by Masaki Kobayashi
  9. Portrait of Cheiko (1967) directed by Noboru Nakamura
  10. Dodes'ka-den (1971) directed by Akira Kurosawa
  11. Sandakan No.8 (1975) directed by Kei Kumai
  12. Kagemusha - The Shadow Warrior (1980) directed by Akira Kurosawa
  13. Muddy River (1981) directed by Kohei Oguri
  14. The Twilight Samurai (2003) directed by Yoji Yamada
  15. Departures (2008) directed by Yojiro Takita - won 
  16. Shoplifters (2018) directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda
  17. Drive My Car (2021) directed by Ryusuke Mahaguchi - won
2. South Korea - 35 submissions since 1962, 1 nomination, 1 win 

South Korea began submitting a film entry to the Academy in 1962. They managed to earn their first nomination in 2020 and also won. Parasite directed by Bong Joon Ho. It also became the first Best International Film winner that also win Best Picture in the history of the Oscar Awards.

3. Taiwan - 48 submissions since 1957, 3 nominations, 1 win

Nominated films and the winner:
  1. The Wedding Banquet (1993) directed by Ang Lee
  2. Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) directed by Ang Lee
  3. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) directed by Ang Lee - won
4. India - 55 submissions since 1957, 3 nominations, no win 

Nominated Films:
  1. Mother India (1957) directed by Mehboob Khan
  2. Salaam Bombay (1988) directed by Mira Nair
  3. Lagaan (2001) directed by Ashutosh Gwariker
5. Hongkong - 41 submissions since 1959, 3 nominations, no win 

Nominated films:
  1. Raise the Red Lantern (1991) directed by Zhang Yimou
  2. Farewell My Concubine (1993) directed by Chen Kaige
  3. Better Days (2020) directed by Derek Tsang
6. China - 36 submissions since 1979, 2 nominations, no win

Nominated films:
  1.  Ju Dou (1990) directed by Zhang Yimou
  2. Hero (2002) directed by Zhang Yimou
7. Vietnam - 19 submissions (since 1993), 1 nomination, no win so far

Nominated film: The Scent of Green Papaya (1993) directed by Trần Anh Hùng

8. Cambodia - 11 submissions (since 1994), 1 nomination, no win

Nominated film: The Missing Picture (2013) directed by Rithy Panh

9. Bhutan - 2 submissions (since 1999), 1 nomination, no win

Nominated film: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji in his directorial debut. It tells the story of a teacher who plans to quit teaching to move to Australia to become a singer. But when he was assigned to teach in the remote mountain village of Lunana, his perspective changed.

10. Philippines - 33 submissions since 1953 but no entries managed to be shortlisted or nominated.

11. Singapore - 16 submissions since 1959 but no entries managed to be shortlisted or nominated.

12. Thailand - 29 submissions since 1984 but no entries managed to be shortlisted or nominated.

13. Indonesia - 24 submissions since 1987 but no entries managed to be shortlisted or nominated.

Best Foreign Film Asian
The Wandering Earth 2 is China's entry to the 96th Academy Awards

Asian Films Submissions to the 96th Academy Awards (2024 Oscar Awards)

The following films are the entries of Asian countries to the 96th Academy Awards. Selection of final nominees will be announced this coming December 2023. 

1. China - The Wandering Earth 2 directed by Guo Fan. It's a science-fiction film starring Hong Kong actor Andy Lau, and Chinese veteran actors Wu Jing and Liu Xuejian. It is a sequel to the 2019 blockbuster film, The Wandering Earth. Based on the novel written by Liu Cixin.

2. Hong Kong - A Light Never Goes Out directed by Anastasia Tsang (her directorial debut). It follows Mei-heung (Sylvia Chang) who decides to carry the unfinished dream of her deceased husband of making neon signs

3. India - 2018; Everyone is a Hero directed by Jude Anthany Joseph. It's a survival film based on the severe 2018 Kerala floods that affected the south Indian state of Kerala. 

4. Indonesia - Autobiography directed by Makbul Mubarak (his directorial debut). It's a thriller drama that follows a housekeeper's story who serves as an assistant to a retired general.

5. Japan - Perfect Days directed by Wim Wenders. It follows the story of a toilet cleaner in Tokyo who has a fondness for trees, he often photographs them. More of his past is gradually revealed through a series of unexpected encounters.

6. Malaysia - Tiger Stripes directed by Amanda Nell Eu (her directorial debut). It's a body horror movie that follows Zaffan, an 11-year-old girl who starts to experience physical changes to her body when she is going through puberty.

7. Philippines - The Missing (Iti Mapukpukaw) directed by Carl Joseph Papa. It is a Philippine-Thai adult animated science fiction film starring Carlo Aquino, Gio Gahol, and Dolly de Leon.

8. Singapore - The Breaking Ice directed by Anthony Chen. It is a 2023 Chinese-Singaporean romantic film starring Zhou Dongyu, Liu Haoran, and Qu Chuxiao. The story follows three young people who form a friendship as they spend time touring Yanji, a border city in northern China, over a weekend in the winter snow.

9. South Korea - Concrete Utopia directed by Um Tae-wa. It is a 2023 disaster-thriller film starring Lee Byung-hun, Park Seo-joon, and Park Bo-young. The story tells about an earthquake and its aftermath.

10. Taiwan - Marry My Dead Body directed by Cheng Wei-hao. It's a supernatural comedy/mystery film starring Greg Hsu, Austin Lin, and Gingle Wang. The story humorously combines the traditional Chinese custom of ghost marriage with a police story, as well as a romance between a human and a ghost.

11. Thailand - Not Friends directed by Atta Hemwadee in his directorial debut. It is a coming-of-age comedy-drama film starring Thitiya Jirapornsilp, Pisitphon Ekphongpisit, Anthony Buizeret, Tanakorn Tiyanont, and Natticha Chantaravareelekha.

12. Vietnam - Glorious Ashes directed by Bùi Thạc Chuyên. The story is set in the poor Mekong Delta coastal village of Thom Rom, the film follows the lives of three women, whose love lives are unusual and unique to their nature. 

Post a Comment