Trần Anh Hùng's The Scent of Green Papaya was Vietnam's first submission for the 1993 awards. Despite the film being financed and produced in France, Hùng asked permission to represent Vietnam instead—it uses mainly Vietnamese language and the characters are portrayed by Vietnamese actors. It is the only Vietnamese film to secure a nomination, and was the first nomination received by a Southeast Asian country in the category.The Scent of Green Papaya and the subsequent submissions—Hồ Quang Minh's Gone, Gone Forever Gone (1996), Tony Bui's Three Seasons (1999), and Hùng's Vertical Ray of the Sun (2000)—were directed by overseas Vietnamese directors and chosen without any support councils, deriving solely from the directors' relationship with foreign partners. Of all four, only Gone, Gone Forever Gone was domestically funded. In September 2003, the Ministry of Culture and Information decided to send Đỗ Minh Tuấn's Foul King, a film entirety produced by Vietnamese, to compete in the category. It was not, however, included on the final list announced by the AMPAS in October.
Vietnam initially received the AMPAS' invitation to participate in the competition in 2006, when a requirement was introduced that films needed to be commercially-released for at least seven consecutive days in a movie theater in its respective country during the eligibility period.The Buffalo Boy was the first selection by the Ministry of Culture and Information following the invitation. The ministry was merged into the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) in 2007, who has since decided the submissions annually. As of 2019[update], Vietnam has successfully submitted fifteen films—Furie (2019) is the most recent submission in this category.
The AMPAS has invited the film industries of various countries to submit their best film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since 1956, while The Foreign Language Film Award Committee oversees the process and reviews all the submitted films. They vote via secret ballot to determine the five nominees for the award.
The Vietnamese submission is chosen by the MCST, formerly the Ministry of Culture and Information, since 2006. The MCST appoints a council to choose one film among those released that year to be submitted as Vietnam's official entry the following year. The council works on the principle of public discussion and votes via secret ballot—the chosen film must attain the highest score on a 10-point scale and the average above 9 points. The chosen films, along with their English subtitles, are sent to the AMPAS, where they are screened for the jury.
In 2008, Black Forest (Rừng đen) was the only film submitted to an open call for entries but was deemed ineligible since it had not been screened in a commercial cinema per AMPAS requirements. Similarly, the MCST chose not make an entry in 2013, when the only available film Blood Letter (Thiên mệnh anh hùng) did not meet the release time. Vietnam also chose not make a 2010 entry because the films reviewed did not meet the requirements;[b] while in 2014, they did not receive any invitation from the AMPAS for the first time since 2006.
Three films starring Nguyễn Như Quỳnh were submitted: Vertical Ray of the Sun, Story of Pao and The White Silk Dress
Dustin Nguyen directed and starred in Jackpot, the 2015 submission
Veronica Ngo produced and starred in The Tailor and Furie, the 2018 and 2019 submission, respectively
List of films, with original titles, directors and results
^The category was changed to the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in April 2019, after the Academy deemed the word "Foreign" to be outdated.
^Among the reviewed films were The Moon at the Bottom of the Well (Trăng nơi đáy giếng); Adrift (Chơi vơi); Let Mai Decide (Để Mai tính); Clash (Bẫy rồng); Inferno (Giao lộ định mệnh); The Diary of Snow White (Nhật ký Bạch Tuyết); Don't Turn Your Head Once You're in Love (Khi yêu đừng quay đầu lại); Burning Kisses (Những nụ hôn rực rỡ); and Teen Princess and the Five Tiger Generals (Công chúa Teen và Ngũ Hổ Tướng).
^Indicates the year of ceremony. Each year is linked to the article about the submitted films in that year.
^The film's title was not on the final list. It was screened out of competition at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2003 under the title Foul King. Elsewhere, it was mentioned by titles loosely translated from Vietnamese as The King of the Landfill,King of the Rubbish Dumps, or Garbage Dump King.
^Also shortlisted for the submission was Living in Fear (Sống trong sợ hãi).
^Other shortlisted films were Beautiful in Every Centimeter (Đẹp từng centimet); Saving The Death (Giải cứu thần chết); Passport to Love (Chuyện tình xa xứ); 14 Days (14 ngày); and The Legend Is Alive (Huyền thoại bất tử).
^Also shortlisted for the submission was Love Puzzles (Cưới ngay kẻo lỡ).
^Other shortlisted films were Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere (Đập cánh giữa không trung); Triple Troubles (Bộ ba rắc rối); Rise (Hương Ga); Farewell, Berlin Wall (Quyên); Gentle (Dịu dàng); and Lost Eyes (Hiệp sĩ mù).
^Other shortlisted films were Yen's Life (Cuộc đời của Yến); Tracer (Truy sát); I'll Wait (Có bao giờ yêu nhau); and Zodiac 12: 5 Steps of Love (12 chòm sao: Vẽ đường cho Yêu chạy).
^Other shortlisted films were The Way Station (Đảo của dân ngụ cư) and Shoot (Sút).
^Among the reviewed films were The Immortal (Người bất tử), The Third Wife (Người vợ ba), and Goodbye Mother (Thưa mẹ con đi).
^Rithdee, Kong (22 January 2014). "Cambodia's Panh up for Oscar glory". Bangkok Post. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019. The Missing Picture isn't officially the first film from Southeast Asia to receive an Oscar nomination. In 1994, The Scent Of Green Papaya, a rapturous drama by France-based Tran Anh Hung, represented Vietnam and was shortlisted.
^Hoàng, Lan Anh (27 September 2012). "Phim Việt dự Oscar: Rớt từ vòng sơ tuyển!" [Vietnamese films attend the Oscar: Failed from the preliminary round!]. Người Lao Động. Ho Chi Minh City Labor Confederation. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
^H. Nhu (11 October 2007). "Phim Áo lụa Hà Đông dự giải Oscar 2008" [The White Silk Dress to attend the 2008 Oscar]. Người Lao Động (in Vietnamese). Ho Chi Minh City Labor Confederation. Archived from the original on 27 April 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
^Bảo Phượng (11 July 2008). "Phim Việt tìm giải Oscar" [Vietnamese film searches for the Oscar]. Pháp Luật (in Vietnamese). Ho Chi Minh City Department of Justice. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
^V.V. (4 October 2015). "Không có phim Việt Nam tham dự Oscar 2015" [There are no Vietnamese films attending Oscar 2015]. Dân Trí (in Vietnamese). Vietnam Association for Promoting Education. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2015 – via Lao Động.
^Viết Thịnh (25 September 2016). "Oscar cho phim Việt: Mơ về nơi xa lắm?" [The Oscar for Vietnamese film: A dream can't be reached?]. Pháp Luật. Ho Chi Minh City Department of Justice. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2016.