Mar 4, 2024

Five Canadians shine with 2024 Oscar nominations

From Dramatic Short to Best Picture, here are five Canadian Oscar hopefuls

Past Lives (2023), Dir. Celine Song

Past Lives (2023), Dir. Celine Song

The most prestigious evening in the world of film approaches this weekend. Set to broadcast on Sunday, March 10, the 2024 Academy Awards will commemorate a rousing year of blockbusters, independents, docs and shorts. Leading the pack with 13 nominations is Christopher Nolan’s nuclear arms race epic Oppenheimer, followed closely by Poor Things, the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed Victorian-era sci-fi/comedy receiving 11 nominations. Canadian nominees are also making an impressive showing among this year’s Oscar class, appearing in a range of categories from Best Dramatic Short, to the grand prix of the night, Best Picture.       

Foyer rounded up five Oscar-nominated Canadians that should be on your radar for this year’s ceremony. Take a look below and place your Oscar bets.   


Celine Song, Past Lives – Nominated for Best Picture and Best Screenplay 


While she has been an acclaimed playwright for over a decade, Past Lives is Korean-Canadian writer/director Celine Song’s debut feature-length film. The A24-produced film has become the darling of fans and critics, earning Song a nod for Best Picture and Best Screenplay – an accolade virtually unheard of for a first-time filmmaker.  

This subtle romantic drama follows the characters Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends who drifted apart after Nora’s family emigrated from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York City for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life. 


Robbie Robertson, Killers of the Flower Moon – Nominated for Best Original Score 


Legendary Canadian musician Robbie Robertson has been posthumously honoured by the Academy, receiving a nomination for Best Original Score for his work on the Best Picture contender, Killers of the Flower Moon. Before passing in August 2023, Robertson composed a full-length album to accompany the film directed by Martin Scorsese.

Killers of the Flower Moon tells the early 20th-century story of the Osage Nation, whose oil wealth attracted white outsiders with malicious intent. The cast features Lily Gladstone, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. 


Ben Proudfoot, The Last Repair Shop – Nominated for Best Documentary Short  


Documentary filmmaker and Nova Scotia native Ben Proudfoot has been nominated for his work co-directing the short film The Last Repair Shop, alongside Kris Bowers.    

Up for Best Documentary Short, the film chronicles a warehouse in the heart of Los Angeles, where a handful of devoted craftspeople maintain over 80,000 student musical instruments – the largest remaining workshop in America of its kind. It follows four characters whose broken-and-repaired lives have been dedicated to bringing much more than music to the schoolchildren of the recording capital of the world.  


Nisha Pahuja, To Kill a Tiger – Nominated for Best Documentary Feature  


Toronto filmmaker Nisha Pahuja is in the running for the top documentary prize of the evening for her harrowing depiction of an Indian farmer’s quest for justice for his daughter.  To Kill a Tiger follows Ranjit, a farmer in Jharkhand, India, who takes on the fight of his life when he demands justice for his 13-year-old daughter. She is a survivor of sexual assault in a country where rape is reported every 20 minutes and conviction rates are less than 30 percent. Ranjit's decision to stand by his daughter and challenge the cultural norms of his community is incredibly rare.  


Vincent René-Lortie, Invincible – Nominated for Best Dramatic Short  


Continuing the trend of Canadians garnering Oscar recognition for their efforts in documentary filmmaking, Montreal-based director Vincent René-Lortie’s powerful criminal justice short film Invincible has been nominated for Best Dramatic Short.  

Inspired by a true story, Invincible recounts the last 48 hours in the life of Marc-Antoine Bernier, an incarcerated 14-year-old boy on a desperate quest for freedom. 


The 96th annual Academy Awards kick off Sunday, March 10 at 7 pm. Stay tuned to Foyer for more stories from the film world at large.


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