"After the exclusion of 'Listen', a second vote was held among the members of the Portuguese Academy of Cinema, in order to ensure a new voting opportunity to all who had selected the film in the first vote, ensuring the greatest possible representation in the choice of the candidate of Portugal", said APC, in a statement.
Vitalina Varela | Official Trailer
The American Film Academy rejected the Portuguese candidacy of the film "Listen", by Ana Rocha de Sousa, for the nomination for Best International Film, leading the APC to open a new selection process. "After analysis of the film 'Listen' by Ana Rocha de Sousa, the 'International Feature Film Executive Committee' considered the application ineligible and requests the sending of a new candidate with the maximum possible urgency", read the statement of the academy. The APC stressed that "the exclusion factor relates to one of the eligibility criteria that requires at least 50 percent of the candidate film to be spoken in non-English language".
"Listen" had been the most voted among the members of the APC, in a choice among four Portuguese films proposed the discussion: "Listen", by Ana Rocha de Sousa, "Mosquito", by João Nuno Pinto, "Patrick", by Gonçalo Waddington, and "Vitalina Varela", by Pedro Costa.
"Vitalina Varela" had a world premiere in August last year at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, where it won the top prizes: Leopard of Gold and Leopard for best female performance. Since then, it has been screened and has received several awards at several international film festivals. The film tells the story of a woman who lived much of her life waiting to go to her husband, Joaquim, who emigrated to Portugal. Knowing that he died, Vitalina Varela arrived in Portugal three days after the funeral.
The 93rd Annual American Film Awards are scheduled for 25 April, 2021 in Los Angeles, United States. The Oscar nominations will be known in March