It comes as no surprise that Dogman by Matteo Garrone will be representing Italy in the Oscars Best Foreign-language Film nomination race. The nominations will be announced in Los Angeles on 22 January 2019, with the official awards ceremony due to take place on 24 February.

The ANICA-established commission chose Garrone's film from 21 nominated titles, all of which were distributed in Italian cinemas from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018. Other films in the running included Happy as Lazzaro by Alice Rohrwacher, awarded at Cannes with a Special Jury Mention. Also screened in competition at Cannes Film Festival last year, Dogman won the La Palma Award for Marcello Fonte’s performance and has received widespread acclaim from critics and viewers alike. Dogman took €2.6 million at the Italian box office, won seven Nastri d'Argento Awards and has since been sold by Rai Com in over 40 countries (Magnolia Pictures has acquired the rights for North America). The film was produced by Archimede, Le Pacte and Rai Cinema, with support from Eurimages, and the regions of Lazio and Campania.

The last Italian film to win the award was Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty in 2014. No other Italian film has managed to make the final cut in the last four years.