The selection committee appointed by ANICA on behalf of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and composed by Nicola Borrelli, Simone Gattoni, Paolo Genovese, Carlo Poggioli, Cristina Priarone, Gloria Satta and Baba Richerme, have recommended Gianfranco Rosi’s Notturno as the Italian candidate for the 93rd Oscars in the category “International Feature Film Award”. The film is produced by 21Uno Film – Stemal Entertainment with Rai Cinema, in association with Istituto Luce Cinecittà.

Notturno will be in consideration for the shortlist that will be announced on February 9th, 2021. The final nominations will be unveiled on March 15th, while the award ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on April 25th, 2021.

Gianfranco Rosi expresses his enthusiasm: “I am very happy and the first thing I want to say is that I dedicate this to Valentina Pedicini, with a long-lasting embrace.” Rosi turns its nomination into a tribute to the late director and writer who just passed away at 42. A tribute to celebrate documentary, their shared passion. “Honestly, I was hoping for it. The journey of the film in the US has already started two months ago through festivals and with the endorsements of many US film magazines. I was hoping for it, and this nomination is wonderful. The promotion will be long and complicated, we’ve already did it with Fire at Sea.” Rosi also highlights the significance of documentaries in this Oscar round: “Five other countries have nominated documentaries for the Oscars. The taboo is over. It’s key that this cinematic form is recognized as fully cinematic.”

With this film, shot in the Middle East along the borders between Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan and Lebanon, over the course of three years, Rosi feels to be “representing that part of Italy that still has the lucidity of looking at what is happening around us, beyond our borders. Nobody talks about the Middle East anymore and when this darkness will be over, the Middle East will be changed, for the worse.”

Paolo Del Brocco, Managing Director of Rai Cinema, states: “We’re running together for this challenge once again, after the exciting ride of Fire at Sea. We’ll be supporting again one of the auteurs who is dearer to us, for his peculiar gaze, his style and visual talent. Gianfranco has already been a nominee and holds a relevant international standing as he collected awards all over the world. In particular, Notturno has participated in over 20 international festivals so far, including Venice, Toronto, New York, Telluride, London, Tokyo, Busan, Sao Paulo, Vienna. The film was warmly received by the Italian and international press, because its borderless journey in the war-torn Middle East always put the tragedy of the people at its core. Rosi’s humanism is what makes Notturno a universal piece of work, freeing it from its own borders and making it understandable all over the world.”