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Which movies will represent Central Europe at the Oscars 2022?


Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have all submitted their Oscars entry in the Best International Feature Film category.

Slovakia still hasn’t revealed its submission for next year’s Academy Awards, with the deadline set in November. A shortlist of at least ten movies competing for Best International Feature Film will be selected in late December, out of which five nominations will be announced on February 8 next year.

The ceremony itself will be held on March 27, 2022.

Zatopek, Czech Republic

Directed by celebrated Czech filmmaker David Ondricek, Zatopek looks at the life and career of Olympic champion Emil Zatopek, widely considered one of the greatest athletes in the history of Czechoslovakia. The film also looks at his relationship with his wife, javelin thrower Dana Zatopkova, who also went on the win gold at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics only one hour after her husband’s own triumph. Born on the exact same day in 1922, the Zatopeks would become one of the most famous couples in sports history.

The Czech Republic’s Film and Television Academy (ČFTA) announced a few days that the biopic, which had its world premiere at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and has since become a box-office hit in the Czech Republic, was chosen out of 13 films to be the country’s entry for next year’s Academy Awards, beating runners up Bird Atlas (Atlas ptáků) by Olmo Omerzu and animated feature Even Mice Belong in Heaven (Myši patří do nebe) by Jan Bubenicek and Denisa Grimmova.

Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film three times: The Shop on Main Street (1966), Closely Watched Trains (1968) and Kolya (1997). Six other Czech movies were nominated for the coveted gold statuette, including two by Milos Forman. Last year, Czech production Charlatan directed by acclaimed Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland made the short-list but was not selected in the final list of nominees.

You can find the complete list of Czech Oscar wins and nominations right here.

Post Mortem, Hungary

Peter’s Bergendy’s supernatural horror film Post-Mortem was selected last week as Hungary’s entry in the International Oscar race. Recounting the story of a post-mortem photographer confronting ghosts with a little girl in a small village in the aftermath of World War I, it premiered last year at the Warsaw International Film Festival.

Two Hungarian movies won the international Oscars race over the past decades: Mephisto (1982), the masterful adaptation of Faust’s legend directed by Istvan Szabo; and Son of Saul (2016), the widely acclaimed film of celebrated Hungarian filmmaker Laszlo Nemes. Eight other movies – the most recent being On Body and Soul by Ildiko Enyedi – were nominated for the race.

You can find the complete list of Hungary’s Academy Awards wins and nominations here.

Leave No Traces, Poland

Poland was the first European country to submit its bid for next year’s Oscars in early September, with Leave No Traces, directed by Jan P. Matuszynski.

Based on a true story and on Cezary Lazarewizc’s book “Leave No Traces: The Case of Grzegorz Przemyk”, the film is set in communist Poland in the early 1980s, and follows the struggles of a man who witnesses the state-actioned murder of a high school student. “One of the questions that got into my mind while reading [the book] was how many things can you actually find out about what happened there? How much of the truth can you get?” explained director Jan Matuszynski.

Despite an impressive total of 12 nominations for Best Foreign Language Film – from Polanski’s Knife in the Water (1964) to Cold War (2019) and Corpus Christi (2020) – Poland only won the award once with Ida (2015) directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. You can check out the whole list in our dedicated article.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.