Back in December, Variety ran a thought piece on the Oscar race that asked, “Why Not World's Best Picture?”
Based on the enthusiastic response we received from readers, it was clear that film lovers and filmmakers in the U.S. and around the globe felt it would be interesting to see what would happen if the best of Hollywood cinema was competing against the indies and international films that caught fire with critics and at film festivals, but weren't, for various reasons, in contention at the Oscars.
So we put together a list of nearly 100 films from 2013, mixing our Variety Oscar Contenders list, which we published in November, with Oscar nominees in all four picture categories (best pic, foreign language, animation, doc), plus films that scored at fests around the world and clicked with critics' polls in several of the major cineaste publications from the U.S. and globally.
Then we reached out to over 150 internationally known film critics, historians, film fest directors and global industry pros, as well as Variety's inhouse film critics, reporters, editors and freelancers, to pick the best film, director, actor, actress and screenwriter. Being an English-language publication based in America, we also made sure there was a slot for best foreign language film, while advising our voters that their best picture pick could be in any language. And respecting that some voters would prefer, like the Oscar voters, to remain anonymous, we allowed voters to choose whether or not to publicly stand behind their choices.
Here, now, are the results of the inaugural Variety World's Best Picture Poll!