2021 Oscars Shortlist Categories Announced


Robert Couse-Baker

(Courtesy PxHere)

By Luke Jackson


Before the complete list of nominees for the 93rd Oscars is released on March 15, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a shortlist of potential nominees in nine different categories: Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, International Feature Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film and Visual Effects.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has over 8,000 members who belong to 17 different branches which organize the voters into categories like actors, directors, cinematographers and visual effects artists. The members within their branches each present a list of films they wish to nominate for an Oscar respective to their branch. For example, directors nominate directors, editors nominate editors, etc. The only categories excluded for this process are the Best Picture and International Feature categories, where all members choose the nominees. After these nominees are compiled, each member of the 17 branches votes for the winner.

The shortlist is released to narrow down the hundreds of films submitted to the nine categories. The shortlist in each category is also chosen by the members of its respective branch. Voting for the final list of nominees begins March 5 and ends March 10.

Among the shortlisted films, I was excited to see that University of Utah alum Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” has been placed on the shortlist for Music (Original Score) and Music (Original Song). As I anticipate the release of the final list of nominees, I hope to see “Minari” receive more well-deserved attention.

Here’s a breakdown of a few shortlist categories and their nominations.

Documentary Feature

Out of 283 eligible films submitted to this category, 15 films were chosen for the shortlist. Some of the most notable films include “All In: The Fight for Democracy,” “Boys State,” “Crip Camp,” “Welcome to Chechnya” and “MLK/FBI.”

Documentary Short Subject

In the Documentary Short Subject category, only 10 films will advance onto voting for the 93rd Academy Awards. Unlike the Documentary Feature category, this category saw fewer eligible films submitted for consideration. The films selected include “Abortion Helpline, This Is Lisa,” “Call Center Blues,” “What Would Sophia Loren Do?” and “Hunger Ward.”

International Feature Film

The International Feature Film category has 15 films advancing to the next round of voting. The films in this category were selected from 93 countries around the world. The shortlist nominees include Denmark’s “Another Round,” France’s “Two of Us,” Guatemala’s “La Llorona” and Iran’s “Sun Children.”

Music (Original Score)

Film and music go hand in hand, with virtually every film having a dedicated musical score. A film’s score adds more dimension and emotion to the film, matching the tones of the movie. In this category, members voted on 136 eligible film scores, selecting 15 that will advance to the next round of voting. The scores selected in this category include “Da 5 Bloods,” “Minari,” “Tenet,” “Soul,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Mulan.”

Additional Categories and Nominees

The full list of categories and nominees can be found on the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences website. The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will take place on April 25, after being pushed back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


[email protected]