As the uproar over the exclusion of Cristian Mungiu‘s 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days from the foreign-language “short list” continues to smolder, a thought comes to mind. Instead of ignoring the oversight and stressing the awards and lavish praise that this film has gathered since last May, what if IFC Films, the film’s distributor, were to make the Academy committee’s diss the focus of a new campaign?
What if IFC Films sought out the hundreds of “name”-level industry people who are mortified at what happened and asked them to sign their names to a petition that would run in consumer press and online ads, pleading with the public to see the film regardless and that doing so would be about more than just “buying a ticket” and “seeing a film”?
Or forget the public — what about a trade ad in Variety in which the film’s admirers say en masse that they’re disgusted by the Academy committee’s decision, and this incident makes clear that changes in the selection process are desperately needed?
People who care about these matters should stand up and respond as a community. You can’t just shrug and be cynical. You have to say “this can’t happen again…for the good of the industry and its reputation, we have to do something.”