The excitement is building as the film industry award season prepares to kick off, with the Golden Globes 2017 due to take place on 8 January. The 74th Golden Globes will honour the best and the brightest within the movie industry, including an award that is always of particular interest to those in the professional translation industry: Best Foreign Language Film.
The nominees for the Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Language Film 2017 include:
• Divines – a French-Qatari drama from director Uda Benyamina, about a teenager from a dysfunctional family in Paris whose life is turned upside down when she meetings a young dancer.
• Elle – a film from Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, based on the award-winning novel ‘Oh…’ by French author Philippe Djian. Elle follows the revenge plans of a businesswoman who is raped in her home by an unknown attacker.
• Neruda – this Chilean film from director Pablo Larraín focus on the bitter political repression and persecution of poet and senator Pablo Neruda.
• The Salesman – Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian-French drama follows a young couple who play the lead roles in a local production of Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.
• Toni Erdmann – this German-Austrian film from director Maren Ade sees a father trying to connect with his daughter by posing as the life coach of her company’s CEO.
While politics and global events have shown us recently that nothing in this life is certain, The Salesman is tipped to take home the 2017 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. It follows in the footsteps of previous winners such as Son of Saul, Leviathan and The Great Beauty.
Up until 1986, there was no requirement for entrants in this category to be in a foreign language – they just had to be foreign films. Thus the most recognised country historically in this category is the UK. However, in 1986 the award for Best Foreign Film was updated to Best Foreign Language Film, stipulating that films entered had to be primarily in another language. This meant that films produced in the US (but in a language other than English) could now enter.
The award for Best Foreign Language Film plays an important role in presenting global cinematic offerings to US audiences. Despite its proud history, the US is now only the world’s third largest film industry, having been overtaken by both India and Nigeria (although the US remains the largest market in terms of box office numbers). The appreciation of movies from other countries is made possible through professional film and subtitle translation.
A lengthy and complex undertaking, subtitling a film in a foreign language can nevertheless be extremely rewarding. Such services enable artistic efforts to be shared across borders and cultures, providing viewers with new experiences and viewpoints that would otherwise be denied to them. Just as literary translation allows written artistic offerings to be shared with speakers of other languages, so does film translation allow cinematic masterpieces to spread. As such, Best Foreign Language Film is an important category and one that generates particular excitement within the translation industry every year.
Whichever film you are rooting for, be sure to tune in to the 74th Golden Globe award ceremony on 8 January 2017. The 2017 Golden Globes will be shown at 8 pm Eastern Time on US channel NBC.
Who do you think will win the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 2017 Golden Globes? Why does your choice deserve the award more than any of the other nominees? Share your thoughts via the comments box.