Ivorian film ‘Night of the Kings’ makes Oscars 2021 shortlist

Night of the Kings” (La Nuit des rois) was the film Côte d’Ivoire submitted for the 93rd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film. It was one of the 15 shortlisted international feature films announced on February 9, 2021.

A drama film, “Night of the Kings” is about a young male pickpocket sent to the Maison d’Arrêt et de Correction d’Abidjan (MACA) prison in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. He needs to compel the other prisoners with his storytelling for him to survive.

Written and directed by Philippe Lacôte, “Night of the Kings” is 93 minutes long. Here is the list of its cast members:

  1. Bakary Koné
  2. Steve Tientcheu
  3. Jean Cyrille Digbeu
  4. Rasmané Ouédraogo
  5. Issaka Sawadogo
  6. Abdoul Karim Konaté
  7. Macel Anzian
  8. Laetitia Ky
  9. Denis Lavant
  10. Zunon François Lopez
  11. Narcisse Aféli
  12. Drabo Arouna
  13. Jean Marcel Brou Daboiko
  14. Sandrine Digbeu
  15. Lago Woroka Gilles


Including “Night of the Kings,” 97 films were submitted for the 2021 Oscar Award for Best International Feature Film but only 93 films were accepted. Three countries submitted a film for the first time namely Lesotho, Sudan and Suriname, whose respective entries were “This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection,” “You Will Die at Twenty” and “Wiren.”

After 21 years of not submitting, Bhutan sent “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” but it did not appear on the final list. “Héliopolis” of Algeria also did not make it to the final list while “Persian Lessons” of Belarus and “2000 Songs of Farida” of Uzbekistan were disqualified.

Majority of individuals involved in making “Persian Lessons” are not from Belarus while “2000 Songs of Farida” was not submitted by the deadline of December 1, 2020. Here is the complete list of the 15 shortlisted films:




Bosnia and Herzegovina Quo Vadis, Aida? Jasmila Žbanić Jasmila Žbanić Bosnian, English, Croatian, Serbian, Dutch
Chile The Mole Agent” (El agente topo) Maite Alberdi Maite Alberdi Spanish
Côte d’Ivoire Night of the Kings” (La Nuit des rois) Philippe Lacôte Philippe Lacôte Dyula, French
Czech Republic Charlatan(Šarlatán) Agnieszka Holland Marek Epstein Czech
Denmark Another Round” (Druk) Thomas Vinterberg Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm Danish
France Two of Us” (Deux) Filippo Meneghetti Filippo Meneghetti, Malysone Bovorasmy French, German
Guatemala La Llorona Jayro Bustamante Jayro Bustamante, Lisandro Sanchez Spanish, Mayan-Caqchickel, Mayan-Ixil
Hong Kong Better Days” (少年的你) Derek Tsang Lam Wing Sum, Li Yuan, Xu Yimeng Mandarin Chinese
Iran Sun Children” (خورشید) Majid Majidi Majid Majidi, Nima Javidi Persian
Mexico I’m No Longer Here” (Ya no estoy aquí) Fernando Frias de la Parra Fernando Frias de la Parra Spanish
Norway Hope” (Håp) Maria Sødahl Maria Sødahl Norwegian, Swedish
Romania Collective” (Colectiv) Alexander Nanau Alexander Nanau, Antoaneta Opriș Romanian
Russia Dear Comrades!” (Дорогие товарищи!) Andrey Konchalovskiy Andrey Konchalovskiy, Elena Kiseleva Russian
Taiwan A Sun” (陽光普照) Chung Mong-hong Chung Mong-hong, Chang Yao-sheng Mandarin Chinese
Tunisia The Man Who Sold His Skin” (L’Homme qui a vendu sa peau) Kaouther Ben Hania Kaouther Ben Hania Arabic, English, French


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