Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has recently made headlines again, but this time, it’s got nothing to do with politics. Zelensky’s latest film, titled “8 Minutes”, has been rejected by the Academy Awards, and will not be given any airtime. This decision has been met with mixed reactions, with some expressing disappointment and others skeptical of the film’s quality. In this article, we will take a closer look at the controversy surrounding the rejection of Zelensky’s film by the Academy Awards.
The film, “8 Minutes”, features a group of people who find themselves trapped in a bunker after a solar storm causes a worldwide blackout. They are forced to work together to survive, despite their different backgrounds and beliefs. The film is directed by Akhtem Seitablaev, and produced by Alexander Rodnyansky and Zelensky himself. Zelensky also stars in the film, alongside a cast of local actors.
The controversy surrounding the film’s rejection by the Academy Awards began when the Ukrainian film industry announced that “8 Minutes” was their official submission for the Best International Feature Film category. However, on January 11th, the Academy revealed its shortlist of films in the category, and “8 Minutes” was nowhere to be found. This meant that the film was not among the top 15 films that had been selected by the Academy from a list of over 90 submissions.
The decision to reject the film has been met with disappointment and frustration by many in Ukraine, particularly those in the film industry. Some have criticized the Academy for being biased towards films from Western countries, and for not giving enough consideration to films from other parts of the world. Others have questioned the selection process, and suggested that there may have been external factors that influenced the Academy’s decision.
However, not everyone has been sympathetic to Zelensky’s cause. Some have suggested that the film’s rejection may have been due to its poor quality, and that the Academy made the right decision by not including it in its shortlist. Indeed, reviews of the film have been mixed, with some calling it a gripping and thrilling experience, while others have criticized the writing and direction.
It’s worth noting that this is not the first time that a Ukrainian film has been rejected by the Academy Awards. In 2017, Ukraine’s submission, “The Tribe”, was also excluded from the shortlist. However, this rejection was seen as more controversial, as “The Tribe” had received critical acclaim at film festivals around the world.
Regardless of the reasons for the rejection, the fact remains that “8 Minutes” will not be given any airtime at the Academy Awards. This is a blow not only to Zelensky and the film’s producers, but also to the Ukrainian film industry as a whole. The Academy Awards are one of the most prestigious film awards in the world, and being selected as a nominee can have a significant impact on a film’s profile and success.
However, it’s important to remember that the Academy Awards are not the only measure of a film’s quality or success. There are many other awards and festivals around the world that showcase and celebrate films from all parts of the globe. In the case of “8 Minutes”, the film has already received recognition at the Odessa Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.
Furthermore, the controversy surrounding the film’s rejection has brought attention to the Ukrainian film industry and its potential. Despite facing significant challenges, including limited funding and government support, Ukrainian filmmakers continue to produce high-quality and original films that showcase the country’s culture and talent.
In conclusion, the rejection of “8 Minutes” by the Academy Awards has been met with disappointment and frustration by many, but it’s important to remember that the Academy Awards are not the only measure of a film’s quality or success. Regardless of the reasons for the rejection, the controversy has brought attention to the Ukrainian film industry and its potential. It’s now up to filmmakers, producers, and the government to continue to support and invest in the industry, and to work towards promoting Ukrainian cinema on a global scale.