The Belgian movie 'Close,' directed by Lukas Dhont, has been nominated for the Academy Award in the 'Best International Film' category – meaning Dhont could become the first Belgian director to win an Oscar for a feature film.
After just missing out on an Oscar nomination for his critically acclaimed debut 'Girl,' Dhont is now competing for the award with his second movie 'Close' – about the intimate friendship between two 13-year-old boys.
The four other nominated films are 'All Quiet on the Western Front' (Germany), 'Argentina, 1985' (Argentina), 'Eo' (Poland) and 'The Quiet Girls' (Ireland). The Oscars will be awarded on 12 March in Los Angeles.
Last year, the movie had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Grand Prix. The story has also won several awards at smaller festivals and was nominated for the European Film Awards and the Golden Globes, among others.
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It has been since 2014 that a Belgian film had a chance to win the Oscar for best international film, when 'The broken circle breakdown' by Felix van Groeningen was nominated.
Before that, Belgian movies 'Rundskop' ("Bullhead") by Michaël R. Roskam and "Iedereen beroemd!" by Dominique Deruddere received an Oscar nomination in that category, as did 'Daens' by Stijn Coninx, 'Farinelli' and 'Le maître de musique' by Gérard Corbiau, and 'Paix sur les champs' by Jacques Boigelot.
Following the announcement, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo took to Twitter to congratulate Dhont and his crew on their nomination.