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Aki Kaurismäki to boycott the Academy Awards

Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki has announced that he will boycott the Academy Awards for a third time by requesting that The Other Side of Hope be excluded from Finland’s nomination list for Best Foreign Language Film.

This isn’t the first film to be excluded by Aki Kaurismäki: in 2002, The Man Without a Past made history by being the first Finnish film to receive an Oscar nomination, Kaurismäki boycotted the ceremony because he condemned the US invasion of Iraq. In 2006, he declined the acceptance of Lights in the Duskbe for being the Finnish nominee. He did lift the ban in 2011 when Le Havre was considered for nomination, allowing it because the United States had a Democratic president (Obama).

The Other Side of Hope hardly needs an Academy Award added to its growing pile of praise; back in February it won the Silver Bear in Berlin and has been selected to compete for the LUX Film prize.

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Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.