Latvia chooses its Oscar nominee

For the sixteenth time, Latvia has nominated a film that will be given the opportunity to claim a nomination for the 'Best International Feature' category at the Academy Awards, commonly referred to as the 'Oscars'.

Following a discussion and vote on September 12 by the National Cinema Center, the expert commission agreed to nominate director Ilze Kunga-Melgaile's debut feature film "Mana Brīvība" ("My freedom"), which is due to have its premiere in two weeks' time.

The selected film is an historical drama with its main character, Alicia, based on Ita Kozakeviča (1955-1990), an important figure during Latvia's "Awakening" period which led to the restoration of independence in the Baltic states. Of Latvian-Polish background, Kozakeviča was a philologist, politician and inspiring personality in both Latvia and Lithuania who died tragically young in a drowning accident in Italy.

The expert commission responsible for choosing the Oscar entry made their decision based on the movie's cinematography and modern perspective on historical events, the expressive visuality of the cameraman's work, as well as the content quality – the story of a strong woman, which is told to the audience by a young director in contemporary film language.

About 90 countries submit their applications to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences every year. Countries must submit their national applications by October 2, an extended list of applicants will be announced on December 21, the final list of nominations is released on January 23 and the "Oscar" award ceremony will take place March 10, 2024.

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