A lesbian horror film has been submitted for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars 2018.
Thelma, which will be released this week, has been submitted by Norwegian film bosses and could become the first film of its type to win the accolade.
Directed by Joachim Trier, it tells the story of a college-aged girl who leaves her overprotective parents to go to university in Oslo.
As well as dealing with supernatural unexplained seizures, the film explores Thelma’s coming to terms with her attraction to women while trying to please her conservative Christian parents.
Thelma will be the first lesbian horror film to be nominated for an Oscar if Norway’s submission is successful.
It has already received praise from a number of critics, including Newsweek, which likened the film to the critically acclaimed It Follows.
The film has also been applauded for Trier’s efforts to create a film whose hero isn’t the same “white, straight man”.
The film has been described as a coming of age story, with The Verge going so far as to say it is a story about the “terror of growing up”.
Thelma’s conservative parents want to suppress her supernatural powers and fix her seizures, but when she feels attraction toward a fellow female student, her powers begin to grow stronger, with The Verge describing the film as having a “powerful sensuality”.
Lesbian films have a track record of being nominated for Oscars but never winning.
Despite winning an accolade of awards, including the Palm d’Or at Cannes, French lesbian film Blue is the Warmest Colour did not find much recognition during the Oscars.
The critically acclaimed Carol, which starred Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett, was nominated for a variety of awards at the Academy Awards including best actress and best cinematography, but did not win.
An extensive LA Times report investigated the membership demographic of the Oscars in 2012 and found a lack of diversity within the Academy, with 77% being male and 94% being white.