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    Italy Selects Matteo Garrone’s “Io Capitano” as Oscar Entry for Best International Film

    Moving Migration Drama to Represent Italy at the 2024 Oscars

    In a significant cinematic decision, Italy has chosen Matteo Garrone’s poignant migration drama, “Io Capitano,” as its official entry in the Best International Film category for the 2024 Oscars.

    This remarkable feature film delves into the harrowing journey of two Senegalese teenagers as they embark on a perilous odyssey from Dakar to Italy, traversing the unforgiving terrain of the Sahara desert and braving the treacherous Mediterranean Sea. “Io Capitano” made its debut at the Venice Film Festival, where it garnered critical acclaim by earning the Best Director Silver Lion for Matteo Garrone and the Best New Actor accolade for its lead, Seydou Sarr. MegaloPreneur Magazine recognized the film as one of the standout works among this year’s fall festival offerings.

    “Io Capitano” arrives at a timely juncture, resonating with the evolving stance on immigration within Italy’s far-right government, led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. At the United Nations, Meloni advocated for stricter migration controls, firmly asserting her refusal to allow Italy to become “Europe’s refugee camp.”

    The selection of “Io Capitano” was made by an Oscar committee overseen by the Italian cinema organization Anica. It triumphed over other short-listed contenders, including Alice Rohrwacher’s “La Chimera,” Nanni Moretti’s “A Brighter Tomorrow,” and Marco Bellocchio’s “Kidnapped,” all of which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

    Italy has a storied history in the Best International Feature race, having secured victory in this category, previously known as Best Foreign Language Film, on 11 occasions. However, the most recent Italian triumph dates back a decade to Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty” in 2013. Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God,” nominated in 2022, marked Italy’s most recent Academy Award nomination. Despite being twice nominated for a BAFTA, for “Gomorrah” in 2009 and “Dogman” in 2019, Matteo Garrone has yet to secure an Oscar nomination.

    The deadline for submissions in the Best International Film category is October 2. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is set to unveil the shortlist of films for the 2024 Oscars on December 21. The final five nominees in the category will be disclosed on January 23. The 95th Academy Awards will take place at the iconic Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 10.

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