Felix Kammerer in "Nothing New in the West"
Photo: Reiner Bajo / Netflix
The war drama "Nothing New in the West" by director Edward Berger made it onto a shortlist of 15 candidates for the so-called foreign Oscar.
92 countries had applied for the Oscar in the »International Feature Film« category for 2023.
The long-awaited shortlist was announced by the Oscar Academy.
With the »trophy buzz«, the whispering and guesswork about the favourites, industry insiders had given the German film good chances.
But "Nothing New in the West" surprised with five hits on the shortlist: the film also advanced in the first selection process in the categories make-up & hairstyling, film music, sound and visual effects.
It will be exciting again on January 24th when the five nominated finalists in all competition categories will be announced in Hollywood.
The Oscars should then take place on March 12, 2023.
"Nothing New in the West" based on the book by Erich Maria Remarque from 1929 shows the horror of the First World War from the perspective of a young soldier.
Austrian Felix Kammerer plays the leading role.
In addition to the German contribution, there were films such as »Corsage« (Austria), »Saint Omer« (France), »Close« (Belgium), »Bardo, the invented chronicle of a handful of truths« (Mexico) and the one that was controversial in his home country Film »Joyland« (Pakistan) in the preselection for the »International Feature Film«.
Composer Volker Bertelmann already nominated in 2017
A year ago, Maria Schrader's »I am your human« was shortlisted, but did not make it into the final round.
Germany's last success in this Oscar category was 15 years ago: in 2007, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's Stasi drama »The Lives of Others« won the trophy.
The German composer Volker Bertelmann, also known by his stage name Hauschka, vividly underscored the horror of war in »Nothing New in the West«.
The experimental musician often resorts to whipping, choppy tones.
With soundtrack greats like John Williams (»The Fabelmans«), Nicholas Britell (»She Said«) and Justin Hurwitz (»Babylon«), Bertelmann is now one of 15 candidates, five of whom make it to the final round.
In 2017 he was nominated for an Oscar together with his US colleague Dustin O'Halloran for the soundtrack to the film »Lion«.
At the award ceremony, however, they went away empty-handed.
The Netflix production has even better Oscar chances in the Make Up & Hairstyling, Sound and Visual Effects categories.
Here, ten candidates were selected in advance from a large number of contenders - and in these three sub-divisions, "Nothing New in the West" is included alongside major Hollywood productions.
Blockbusters such as »Avatar: The Way of Water«, »The Batman«, »Black Panther: Wakanda Forever«, »Jurassic World Dominion« or »Top Gun: Maverick« compete for the Effects Oscar.
Significantly smaller productions »Made in Germany« have also come a step closer to winning an Oscar.
The Munich director Nils Keller, a graduate of the Munich University of Television and Film (HFF), can hope for a trophy in the category »Live Action Short« with his film »Almost Home«.
Andreas Kessler from the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy in Ludwigsburg also made it into the preselection with his short film »Nakam«.
A total of 200 filmmakers had applied for Hollywood's highest award in this category.
The two Germans are now among 15 contenders, a third of whom will advance in January.
For Nils Keller, who staged a mother-son conflict in space in »Almost Home«, there was already a foretaste last October: he won the Student Academy Award in gold at the Student Oscars.