Warsaw, Poland – Poland has submitted ‘Corpus Christi‘ as its official bid for next year’s Academy Awards to compete for Best International Feature Film (former Best Foreign Language Film category).
Inspired by a true story, ‘Corpus Christi‘ is the third feature film of Polish director Jan Komasa. It centers around the story of 20-year-old Daniel (played by Bartosz Bielenia), a young offender who, after being released from prison and experiencing a spiritual transformation during his incarceration, “accidentally” poses as a priest.
An “original and absorbing” movie according to Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney, ‘Corpus Christi‘ tackles sensitive topics and is bound to raise controversy in Catholic Poland.
Announcing its decision, the Oscar committee said that “‘Corpus Christi’ is a universal, moving and provocative story about the spiritual transformation of a man, a new look at faith in God. This is a mature, wise film created by a young artist”.
Due to be released on October 11 in Poland, the film premiered earlier this month at the Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Edipo Re Award and the Europa Cinemas Label Award, and was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.
After directing a number of short movies and documentaries, Jan Komasa released his debut feature film in 2011, ‘Suicide Room‘, followed three years later by ‘Warsaw 1944‘, two movies that did not go unnoticed by critics.
Since Roman Polanski’s first Oscars submission in 1963 with ‘Knife in the Water‘, Polish movies have been nominated no less than ten times in the Best Foreign Language Film category, winning once with Pawel Pawlikowki’s ‘Ida‘ in 2014.
Despite being nominated for a record three Oscars last year (Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography), Pawlikowski’s acclaimed ‘Cold War‘ black-and-white drama failed to notch up any of the coveted awards, losing the international feature film statuette to Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma‘.
More luck this year?