Oscar: International Dimension

There is another dimension to the growing international dimension of the Oscar Awards.

In 1995, four out of the five Best Picture nominees were shot outside of the U.S., highlighting the globalization of film production and blurring the definition of what’s a Hollywood studio product.

The variety of locations, directors, casts, and crews gave that year’s picks an international flavor usually seen only in the foreign-language film category.

American Beauty

This trend continues into the present. In a subtle statement about the state of the film industry, every one of the 1998 Best Picture nominees did all or most of its shooting overseas.

In 1999, “American Beauty became” the first Best Picture in twenty-three years–since Rocky in 1976–to be lensed entirely in Hollywood.

Solomon & Gaenor

The production of foreign-language films have also reflected the internationalism of the movie industry. The UK entry, “Solomon & Gaenor,” was directed by a Brit (Paul Morrison), set in Wales, with its actors speaking reciting dialogue in Yiddish, English, and Welsh.

Nepal’s Cravan

Nepal’s first-ever nomination, “Caravan,” was French/British/Swiss/Nepalese coproduction, set in the highest reaches of the Himalayas, with a French crew and cast and Tibetans speaking their native language.