A Bosnian war film and a Romanian documentary have been nominated in the best international film category for next month's Academy Awards, while a Bulgarian actress was nominated for an Oscar in a supporting role.
Quo Vadis, Aida?, directed by Jasmila Zbanic, tells the story of a translator for the United Nations in the town of Srebrenica, the scene of the Bosnian war's worst atrocity when 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Serb forces in July 1995.
Collective, by Romanian-German director Alexander Nanau, follows a group of Romanian investigative journalists in their arduous journey of uncovering public health-care fraud and corruption in the aftermath of a fire in a Bucharest nightclub that killed more than 60 people.
Collective was also nominated in the best documentary category -- the second time in as many years that a documentary from Southeastern Europe has been nominated in both categories after last year's Macedonian film Honeyland.
“This is a win for independent investigative journalists and whistle-blowers, guardians of our societies, who can hold corrupt authorities accountable," Nanau said about the nomination.
Quo Vadis, Aida? director Zbanic won a Golden Bear award in Berlin in 2006 for her feature Grbavica.
"I am just so happy. This is a huge success for Bosnia," actor Boris Ler, a member of the film's cast, told RFE/RL.
Quo Vadis, Aida? and Collective will compete for the best foreign movie accolade along with films from Denmark, Hong Kong, and Tunisia, the academy announced on March 15.
Bulgaria's Maria Bakalova secured a nomination for best supporting actress for her role in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the sequel to Sacha Baron Cohen's 2006 hit mockumentary Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation.
“Wa Wa Wee Wa!" Bakalova, said, mocking Borat's signature exclamation. "Thank you to the academy for this honor! I really can't believe this -- to hear my name in the company of these remarkable women and their breathtaking performances is a dream come true!"
David Fincher’s Mank, the black-and-white drama starring Gary Oldman as Citizen Kane writer Herman Mankiewicz, led the overall field for the Academy Awards with 10 nominations.
For the first time in the 93-year history of the awards, two women -- Chloe Zhao and Emerald Fennell -- were nominated for best director.
The Academy Awards would typically have happened by now but this year were postponed by two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They will instead be telecast on April 25.