Hollywood is refusing to acknowledge The Sound of Freedom despite it being arguably the most influential independent film of 2023.
The powerful child-trafficking drama was a resounding success but a key omission from the nominees at the 81st Golden Globe Awards, which marked the beginning of cinema’s 2024 awards season on 7 January.
Starring Jim Caviezel, The Sound of Freedom follows the true story of federal agent Tim Ballard as he tracks down and rescues trafficked children in Columbia.
The film resonated with audiences internationally, including across Catholic communities in Australia where parishes held sold-out sessions for communal viewings.
A global box office of nearly US$250million against a US$14.5 million budget means the film’s absence from the ceremony’s new category, ‘Cinematic and Box Office Achievement,’ is particularly striking.
The Golden Globes recognise nominees from “among the year’s highest-earning and/or most-viewed films that have gained extensive global audience support and produced exceptional creative content.”
According to Newsweek it became the tenth most profitable film in the US in 2023, competing with high-budget and Hollywood-backed studio projects, and was among the top 20 best-earning independent films.
In comparison, Taylor Swift’s Era’s Tour concert film was nominated for the Golden Globes after enjoying similar success with an overall positive audience response and box office of $250 million against a $10-20 million budget.
The trend will continue at the Oscars where The Sound of Freedom has failed to be shortlisted for any categories, keeping one of the year’s most prolific cinematic voices silent this awards season.