People’s Choice Oscars

As someone who loves both traveling and films, the announcement of the 2024 Academy Awards (Oscars) winners piqued my curiosity about how people across the globe think and discuss films.

As we all know, although the influence of the Oscars has declined significantly in the era of multimedia entertainment dominated by smartphones, it remains the most significant ceremony in the film world. But the world does not revolve around just Hollywood. Different people often have their own favorites for the different Oscar awards. Many individuals who are not frequent moviegoers barely watch one film in a year, let alone have their favorite film. For them, life itself goes beyond films.

I interviewed my international friends and their friends about their favorite people and films that they deem to be deserving of an Oscar. Thanks to their help, I received 16 responses from 11 different countries. The results surpassed my expectations. It's evident that the world extends beyond just the Oscars. Of course, I encouraged participants to choose films beyond the mainstream Oscar, and some even selected films from their own countries, which are rarely heard of.

The following are the 16 responses I received:

[1.] Nationality: Jakarta, Indonesia

Name: Shah

Occupation: Tech employee

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Best Picture: Beau Is Afraid

Best Director: Wregas Bhanuteja (Andragogy)

Best Actor: Franz Rogowski (Passages)

Best Actress: Eve Hewson (Flora and Son)

'Beau Is Afraid'

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Poster o

[2.] Nationality: Mangshi, China

Name: Forest Gone

Age: 40s

Occupation: Bank employee

Best Picture: Interstellar
Personal Note: I know it's a 2014 film, but it has struck me as epic all these years, so I am not influenced by other films. Also, as I have been busy raising my children in recent years, I don’t have much time to watch movies.

'Interstellar'

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[3.] Nationality: New York, United States

Name: Anonymous
Age: 60s

Occupation: Retired

Best Picture: Barbie (only film seen in theatres)

Best Actress: Margot Robbie

Personal Note: Robbie did a good job, they guess (?)

Poster of 'Barbie'

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[4.] Nationality: Illinois, United States

Name: Anonymous

Age: 20s

Occupation: Self-employed

Best Picture: The Colour Purple

Best Actress: Halle Bailey

Best Actor: Nicolas Cage

'The Colour Purple'

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Poster of

[5.] Nationality: Cork, Ireland (originally from Slovak)

Name: Peter Zemek

Occupation: Curator at IndieCork Film Festival

Age: 42

Best Picture: Fallen Leaves

Best Director: Aki Kaurismäki

Personal Note: Kaurismäki was one of the directors who made me fall in love with independent films back when I was in high school. He managed to bring me back to those times with "Fallen Leaves". Dry humor is perfectly executed, and the film is visually amazing. You could call it a romantic comedy or a film about loneliness. Once again, Kaurismäki has delivered a remarkable production.

And my runner-up would be "Fremont" by Babak Jalali.

f 'Fallen Leaves'

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Poster o

[6.] Nationality: Nagoya, Japan

Name: Ma Ran

Age: 40s

Occupation: Film researcher

Best Picture: Occupied City by Steve McQueen

Poster of 'Occupied City'

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[7.] Nationality: Volgograd, Russia

Name: Softland

Occupation: Programmer

Age: 53

Gender: Male

Best Picture: The Master and Margarita (2024)

Best Director: Hayao Miyazaki (The Boy and the Heron)

Best Actress: Margot Robbie (Barbie)

Poster of 'The Master and Margarita'

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[8.] Nationality: Luanda, Angola

Name: Celio Barros O. Gonçalves

Age: 31

Occupation: Translator

Gender: Male

Best Picture: Extraction 2, Socorro África, Blue Beetle, Meg 2: The Trench

Personal Note: I recommend a 2013 Angolan film "I Love Kuduro"

Best Director: José Padilha, James Cameron, Sérgio Graciano, Henrique Narciso "Dito"

Best Actor: Jason Statham, Freddy Costa (Angolan), Rodrigo Nascimento

Best Actress: Gal Gadot, Lesliana Pereira (Angolan)

'I Love Kuduro'

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Poster of

[9.] Nationality: Rabat, Morocco

Name: Anonymous

Age: Teenager

Occupation: Student

Best Picture: Deep (Thai movie)

Best Director: Driss Rokhe

Best Actress: Hasna Tamtaoui

Best Actor: Aziz Dadas

f 'Deep'

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Poster o

[10.] Nationality: Cairnes, Australia

Name: Hope

Occupation: Sales assistant

Age: 24

Gender: Female

Best Picture: The Royal Hotel

Best Director: Emerald Fennell

Best Actress: Jenna Ortega

of 'The Royal Hotel'

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Poster

[11.] Nationality: Sydney, Australia

Name: Tyden

Occupation: Video game designer

Age: 27

Gender: Male

Best Picture: Beau Is Afraid

Best Director: Ari Aster

Best Actor: Pedro Pascal

Ari Aster, director of 'Beau Is Afraid'

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[12.] Nationality: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Name: Mateo

Age: 25

Occupation: Content creator

Gender: Male

Best Picture: El Rapto

Best Director: Aki Kaurismäki

Best Actor: Martín Piroyansky

'El Rapto'

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Poster of

[13.] Nationality: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Name: Cristian

Occupation: Lawyer

Gender: Male

Age: 25

Best Picture: All of Us Strangers

Best Director: Emma Seligman

Best actor: Paul Mescal

'All of us Strangers'

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Poster of

[14.] Nationality: Rabat, Morocco

Name: Anonymous

Age: 30s

Occupation: Sales

Best Picture: Dados

Best Actor: Gad Elmaleh

Poster of 'Dados'

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[15.] Nationality: Shenzhen, China
Name: Dead Money

Age: 30s

Occupation: Architect

Best Picture: 14 Paintings by Dongnan Chen
Personal Note: Out of more than 100 oil paintings from Dafen Village hung on different occasions, 14 were selected. Each scene consists of one frame and shows the absurd reality.

Best Director: Slava Leontyev (Porcelain War)
Personal Note: One of the directors of this film, Leontyev, is so versatile. At home, he is a ceramic artist while outside, he is a Special Forces soldier fighting against the Russian army.
Best Actor: Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction)
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan (Maestro)

of '14 Paintings'

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[16.] Nationality: Mangalore, India

Name: Guru

Age: 48

Occupation: IT

Best Picture: Elvis, Kantara

Personal Note: I can’t remember much of 2023 movies. I usually watch movies only on the big screen. My latest favorite English movie is "Elvis" (2022) directed by Baz Luhrmann. I watched it twice while I was in Serbia.

In 2023, I watched "Kantara", a local Indian movie (available in two languages, Tulu and Kannada) twice. It’s really well-made.

'Kantara'

Poster of

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