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Golden Globes to allow international films to compete for best picture

Alan Kim and Yuh-Jung Youn in "Minari."
Alan Kim as David and Yuh-Jung Youn as his grandmother Soonja in “Minari.”
(A24)

After consecutive years of controversy about its rule limitations, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. will now allow non-English language movies to compete for its best picture prizes.

The move came after the group faced criticism for shunting movies like “Minari” and “The Farewell” to its foreign language category, making them ineligible to compete for the main prizes of best picture drama and musical/comedy.

The exclusion of “Minari” last year was considered particularly galling, as Lee Isaac Chung’s acclaimed film was American-financed, made by an American director and concerned nothing less than a family pursuing the American dream on a farm in Arkansas.

Actor Daniel Dae Kim tweeted that it is the “film equivalent of being told to go back to your country when that country is actually America.”

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The HFPA also announced that animated films will be allowed to vie for its best picture prizes. The changes will take place immediately, “regardless of the next airdate of the Golden Globes.”

NBC announced in May that it would not air the 2022 Golden Globes ceremony, following a Times investigation into the HFPA’s membership and financial and ethical practices.

The HFPA isn’t the only group to change awards rules this week. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced several tweaks Wednesday, most significantly in the original score category.

Now, for a score to be eligible, it must comprise a minimum of 35% of the total music in the film, lowered from 60%. That higher threshold had barred many acclaimed scores over the years, including several 2020 contenders, among them “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “One Night in Miami...,” “Sound of Metal” and “Let Them All Talk.” Under the new rules, they would now qualify.

And the Directors Guild has reinstated a requirement that feature films must have an exclusive seven-day theatrical run before hitting streaming platforms to be eligible for the DGA Awards’ top theatrical director prize.

This rule will create a problem for Warner Bros., which announced in December that all of its 2021 movies would be released theatrically and on its sister streaming service HBO Max at the same time. So if, say, Denis Villeneuve wants to go to the DGA Awards for his long-awaited “Dune,” Warner Bros. will have to book a theater before the movie lands in subscribers’ homes.


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