×

Oscars: U.K. Selects BAFTA Winner ‘I Am Not a Witch’ as Foreign-Language Entry

Rungano Nyoni’s “I Am Not a Witch” has been selected as the U.K.’s entry in the race for the Oscar for best foreign-language film.

The British submission in the foreign-language category is selected each year by BAFTA. Any British feature that is predominantly not in English is eligible. The Zambia-set “I Am Not a Witch,” which won a BAFTA Film Award for outstanding debut by a British writer, director of producer in February this year, was shot in both Bemba, a major Bantu language of Zambia, and English.

“I Am Not a Witch” was written and directed by Rungano, a Zambia-born British filmmaker based in Wales. It tells the story of 8-year-old Shula, who, following a banal incident in her village, is accused and found guilty of witchcraft and exiled to a camp for witches in the middle of a desert.

It made its debut in the Director’s Fortnight section of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. It will open in the U.S. via Film Movement on Sept. 7.

The film was supported through the BFI’s nationwide partnership of film-funding organizations, BFI Network, which aims to help discover and develop new writers, directors and producers. The U.K.-French co-production was financed by the BFI, Film4, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Aide aux Cinémas du Monde (CNC-Institut français), the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund and HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production support.

It was produced by Emily Morgan for Soda Pictures, Juliette Grandmont for Clandestine Films and Titus Kreyenberg for Unafilm, with Soda’s Eve Gabereau, the BFI’s Mary Burke, Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Hannah Thomas, and Film4’s Eva Yates and Daniel Battsek serving as executive producers.

The U.K. has twice seen its submission make it through to receive a nomination in the Oscars’ best foreign-language film category, with the Welsh-language films “Hedd Wyn” in 1993 and “Solomon and Gaenor” in 1999.

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 22, 2019. The ceremony will take place Feb. 24, 2019.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

    Film News Roundup: Stephen King's 'Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' Movie in the Works

    In today’s film news roundup, a Stephen King horror movie is in the works, “Downton Abbey” is seeing strong sales and a project about Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson is in development. KING ADAPTATION Stephen King’s “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” has been set up as a movie at George A. Romero’s Sanibel Films, [...]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Confirms Security Issue With Customer Records

    MoviePass, the struggling movie ticket subscription service, has confirmed a security issue may have exposed customers’ records. In a statement, MoviePass said Wednesday that the security lapse was recently discovered and its system was immediately secured. Reports of the data breach first surfaced Tuesday through the Tech Crunch site, which alleged that tens of thousands [...]

  • Matthew Modine

    Matthew Modine Accused of Violating Labor Laws With Campaign Videos

    Matthew Modine has been accused by SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris of violating federal laws in his campaign to unseat Carteris. The production of three campaign videos for Modine by the for-profit New York Film Academy — on whose board Modine sits — has been blasted by Carteris for alleged violations of federal labor law prohibiting [...]

  • Ready or Not Movie

    'Ready or Not,' 'Angel Has Fallen' Enter Box Office Race

    Three more contenders are joining what has lately been a hostile box office arena. Can anyone emerge from August victorious? Fox Searchlight’s “Ready or Not,” a black comedy about a diabolical game of hide-and-seek, will debut in 2,244 North American theaters on Wednesday. The low-budget film is expected to earn upwards of $6.5 million over [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Adam Brody'Ready or Not' film premiere,

    Adam Brody to Executive Produce, Star in 'The Kid Detective'

    “Ready or Not’s” Adam Brody has signed on to star in “The Kid Detective.” Sophie Nelisse will co-star in the dramedy from writer-director Evan Morgan. Brody will star as a once-celebrated kid detective, now 31, who continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity until a 16-year-old client (Nelisse) brings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content