"Flee" "Flee"

The nominations are out for the 31st Gotham Awards, which honor indie and low-budget filmmaking. So begins Oscar season.

There’s good news for Flee, one of the year’s most talked-about indie animated features, which has picked up a nomination — for best documentary. This is important, as it hints at how the film’s awards campaign may play out.

Flee, a Danish-French-Swedish-Norwegian co-production, could theoretically compete for animated, documentary, or international feature categories at awards. At the Oscars, the animated feature category is notoriously studio-dominated: no genuinely indie title, without major-studio backing, has ever won.

The film is one of three candidates for Denmark’s submission to the Oscars’ international category; the country will announce its choice on Monday. This was the category in which Waltz with Bashir, which was in a similar position to Flee, was eventually nominated at the Academy Awards in 2009.

The Gotham Awards have no animated category, so Flee was eligible for best documentary and international film. It benefited from a rule change, which allowed non-U.S. films to compete in the documentary category for the first time this year. It is up against four live-action films, all of which have a U.S. producer: Ascension, Faya Dayi, President, and Summer of Soul.

Nominations are determined by committees of critics, programmers, and other professionals. The winners are chosen by separate panels of industry people. To qualify, films must have been made for no more than $35 million.

Flee tells the story of Amin, an Afghan refugee living in Denmark who harbors a big secret. The film is the animation debut of documentary maker Jonas Poher Rasmussen. It has already won several major awards, including the Cristal for a feature at Annecy and the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at Sundance. Neon will release it in U.S. theaters on December 3.

The Gotham Awards will be held on November 29 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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