For the the first time ever, the European Film Academy (EFA) has nominated four animated features for its animated feature category.

The award, which has been given out since 2009 and was won last year by My Life as a Zucchini, had previously been capped at three nominees, but the rapid growth and increased quality of European animated features has led to an expansion of the category.

The 2017 nominees are:

  • Ethel & Ernest (Roger Mainwood, UK/Luxembourg)
  • Louise by the Shore (Louise en hiver) (Jean-François Laguionie, France/Canada)
  • Loving Vincent (Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, Poland/UK)
  • Zombillenium (Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord, France/Belgium)

At least two of the nominees – Ethel & Ernest and Loving Vincent – have also been qualified for this year’s Academy Awards. Additionally, one of the EFA nominees from last year, Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero’s Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, is also in contention for an Academy Award this season.

To qualify for the award, a film must be directed by a European and primarily produced in Europe. Here is a rundown of the EFA’s system that determines whether a film qualifies for the category.

The nominations for the category were determined by a committee comprised of EFA board deputy chairman Antonio Saura (Spain), EFA board member Ira von Gienanth (Germany), EFA member Anja Šošić (Poland), and CARTOON representatives Christian Davin (France), Moe Honan (Ireland), and Alessandro Rak (Italy).

The nominated films will now be put before 3,000 EFA members, who will vote for the winner. The winner will be announced at the 30th European Film Awards Ceremony on Saturday, December 9, in Berlin, Germany.

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