Voting for nominations will take place from January 12-17, and results will be announced on January 24.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its shortlists for 10 categories, including three films by directors from the Middle East and North Africa.
The 95th Oscars are slated to be held on March 12 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
The Blue Caftan, directed by Moroccan filmmaker Maryam Touzani, has been shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, also making the cut in the same category is Egyptian-Swedish filmmaker Tarik Saleh’s Cairo Conspiracy, submitted from Sweden.
Another Middle Eastern film, Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasi’s Holy Spider, was also shortlisted, after also debuting at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The Blue Caftan debuted in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and sidebar and recently premiered in Toronto.
The film follows Halim and Mina who run a traditional caftan store in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas. In order to keep up with demanding customers, they hire a talented young man as an apprentice. Slowly Mina realises how much her husband is moved by his presence. The couple has always lived with Halim’s secret, his homosexuality, which he has learned to keep quiet.
The film is produced by Ali n’ Productions in Morocco, Les Films du Nouveau Monde in France, Velvet in Belgium and Snowglobe in Denmark.
Saleh’s Cairo-set political thriller Cairo Conspiracy is about a fisherman’s son who is thrown into a brutal power struggle between Egypt’s religious and political elite. The film world premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in Competition where it won the best screenplay prize.
Holy Spider tells the true story of Saeed Hanaei, a construction worker and decorated veteran of the Iran-Iraq war who in the years 2000 and 2001 strangled 16 female sex workers in the Iranian city of Mashhad.
There is a stronger showing from Asia, with four titles making the shortlist: Cambodia’s Return To Seoul, India’s Last Film Show, Pakistan’s Joyland and South Korea’s Decision To Leave.