Atlantics, a film set in Senegal by French director Mati Diop, is one of 10 films to be shortlisted for the next round of the International Feature Film category at the Oscars.
Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will now vote on whether it should be nominated for final consideration.
Atlantics, one of 91 films that were originally submitted in this category, is a love story set against the backdrop of migration and poverty.
The final nominations will be announced on 13 January.
The International Feature Film category attracted criticism earlier this year when Nigerian film Lionheart was disqualified after it was judged not to have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track”, one of the criteria for being considered.
In the Original Song category, Beyonce’s Spirit, composed for the Lion King remake, is one of 15 on the shortlist for further consideration.
The song opens with lyrics in Swahili “Uishi kwa mda mrefu mfalme” meaning “long live the king”.