On a bright sunny Hollywood morning in July hundreds of film enthusiasts began lining up in the courtyard of the Egyptian Theatre for the first Foreign Language Film Series, a marathon day of foreign films organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in cooperation with the American Cinematheque. Audience members were affiliated with grant recipient organizations ranging from community associations to film schools, which were invited to attend the screenings together with HFPA members. Four films eligible for Golden Globe consideration in the Foreign Language category from Korea, Russia, China, and French-speaking Canada.
Each year HFPA members screen all submitted films and vote for five Globe nominees in December – last year more than 80 – the equivalent of a festival of some of the year’s best international films. This year, the HFPA will share the wealth with select film lovers invited to four screening marathons on four Sundays in July, August, September, and October at the Cinematheque’s Egyptian and Aero theaters.
More than 400 people attended the inaugural series on July 21, which featured Berlinale Silver Bear winner So Long My Son from China, Berlin Grand Prix winner House of Hummingbird from South Korea, Genesis form Canada and Cannes Un Certain Regard winner Beanpole from Russia. The series was organized by the HFPA’s Foreign Language Film Committee and introduced by HFPA members. As an association of foreign correspondents, the HFPA believes strongly in fostering ties between Hollywood and the world. The idea behind the series is to give the cinephile community and HFPA grantees a taste of festival-style screenings and what evaluating films for possible nomination entails. The brave souls who joined us for a full day of screenings were served breakfast, lunch and a pizza dinner.
Films are eligible for Golden Globe consideration in the foreign-language film category if they have been released in their country of origin during the 15 preceding months (October 2018 – December 2019) and if they are screened for members in an official screening in Los Angeles.