The very first Best Foreign Film Oscar went to the film titled "La Strada". It got the inaugural Academy Award in 1957. According to the American Film Institute (AFI), "La Strada" became " of the most influential films ever made." It was produced by Dino De Laurentiis and Carlo Ponti.

"La Strada" ("The Road") is a 1954 Italian drama which was directed by Federico Fellini from his own screenplay co-written with Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano. The film tells the story of Gelsomina, a simple-minded young woman (Giulietta Masina). She is bought from her mother by Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutish strongman who takes her with him on the road. She will become Zampanò's wife and partner. Her loyally will overcome her husband's coldness and abuse as they travel the Italian countryside performing together. Soon Zampanò must deal with his jealousy and conflicted feelings about Gelsomina when she finds a kindred spirit in Il Matto (Richard Basehart), a carefree circus fool. Gelsomina will contemplate leaving Zampanò.

Besides being the first recipient to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, "La Strada" won more than fifty international awards, including the Bodil Award for Best European Film. This Danish film award is given to highlight films that the critics regard as most worthy.

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