‘M for Malaysia’ among the 93 international films up for Oscars’ International Feature Film consideration

‘M for Malaysia’ shines a spotlight on crucial events that took place during the days leading up to the election. — 'M for Malaysia' reimagined poster by Ravindran V
‘M for Malaysia’ shines a spotlight on crucial events that took place during the days leading up to the election. — 'M for Malaysia' reimagined poster by Ravindran V

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 ― Documentary feature film, M for Malaysia, is among the 93 films from around the world that has been submitted for consideration in the International Feature Film category for the 92nd Academy Awards.

The documentary, directed and produced by Ineza Roussille and Dian Lee, focuses on the struggles surrounding last year’s general election that changed the country’s political landscape.

The list of Oscar considerations also includes entries from every continent except Antarctica, and features first-time contenders from Ghana, Nigeria and Uzbekistan.

The most high-profile entries in the category include South Korea's Parasite by Bong Joon-Ho, Spain’s Pain and Glory from director Pedro Almodovar, France’s Les Miserables from Ladj Ly and Senegal’s Atlantics by Mati Diop ― which saw her become the first black female director ever to have a film in competition at Cannes, where it was awarded the Grand Prix from Netflix.

Both Roussille and Lee, who are currently in South Korea for the screening of the documentary at the Busan International Film Festival, expressed their excitement about the submission and said they are proud of the Malaysian talents that came together to make this film a reality.

“We didn’t think we would come this far, considering we had no plans in making this film in the beginning.

“We are excited to share this story with the world,” added Roussille.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Ruby Yang, who is the film’s creative producer, also took to Facebook to congratulate the team with a “big round of applause”.

M for Malaysia is representing Malaysia, and this is the first time a documentary is chosen to represent the country.

“Proud to serve as the creative producer on the project,” said Yang in the post.

Earlier this year, the documentary made its world premiere at the Centre for Asian American Media Festival 2019 (CAAMFest37) in San Francisco and Oakland in the US, as well as a series of screenings at DocEdge New Zealand in Auckland and Wellington early this year.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines an international feature film as a feature-length motion picture (longer than 40 minutes) produced outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.

The Academy’s Board of Governors voted this year to rename the Foreign Language Film category as International Feature Film and expand the shortlist from nine to 10 films.

The shortlisted films will be announced on December 16.

Nominations in all categories will then be announced next year on January 13, and the ceremony is set to be held on February 9.

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