Italy has selected The Hand Of God, from Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino, as its entry for the best international feature film category at the 2022 Academy Awards.
It was chosen by an 11-member committee representing directors, journalists, critics, distributors, festivals, government officials and market specialists, including Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera and former Mia Market head Lucia Milazzotto.
18 films were submitted to the committee by individual production companies. These included Jonas Carpignano’s Quinzaine title A Chiara, Giuseppe Tornatore’s Ennio Morricone documentary Ennio, and Nanni Moretti’s Cannes competition drama Three Floors.
The Hand Of God is produced by The Apartment and premiered in competition in Venice where it won the Grand Jury Silver Lion and the Mastroianni award for the best debut (which went to its lead actor Filippo Scotti). Netflix is distributing the film in all territories on December 15, and it launch theatrically in Italy on November 24.
The film tells the story of a young boy in Naples during the 80s. Largely autobiographical, it spans several years from Maradona’s arrival in the city to play for Napoli, to the first Italian title won by the team. During this time the boy comes of age and witnesses his parents’ death.
Paolo Sorrentino was a winner in the category (in its previous iteration of best foreign language film) in 2014 with The Great Beauty.