Monday, October 8, 2018

16 Latino Submissions for the Academy Awards® 2019

By José Alberto Hermosillo
16 Latino Submissions for the Academy Awards 2019
This year, eighty-seven countries submitted entries for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, four less than in the last installment. Sixteen of those works are from Ibero-America. 

For decades, European films had hegemony in this category, until Chile won last year. Now "Roma," the acclaimed feature from Mexico aims to score another victory of a Latin country two years in-a-row. Once again, Europeans and Latinos will face-off, as in a soccer match but now in a new rivalry, cinema. Wait, do not count out the Asian countries, Japan's Palme d’Or winner “Shoplifters” is expected to be nominated as well.
Some of the European nations are taking a further step presenting a movie made by a previous Oscar® winner like Germany's Never Look Back by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who won with “The Life of Others” in 2007. László Nemes won with “Son of Saul” -  now his latest work “Sunset” represents Hungary. Poland submitted “Cold War” by Pawel Pawlikowski, who won in 2013 for “Ida.”
Besides Germany, Hungary, and Poland other strong contenders want to take the gold. Among those is Belgium’s dancer trans-venture film “Girl,” the Israeli gay drama “The Cakemaker,” and the brutal flick from Italy “Dogman.” All of those films have possibilities to reach for an Oscar® nomination.
Sweden is sending the controversial award-winner trolls-movie “Border.” Turkey sent a beautiful work, “The Wild Pear Tree.” South Korea is making noise with “Burning.” Norway's What People Say brings more diversity to the contest. Kenya’s “Supa Mondo” is about empowering women in Africa. The representative of Indonesia also empowers women in Asia Marlina Murderer in Four Acts.”

The Latino submissions are at boiling point. Cuba gets disqualified, Honduras is a no-show, everybody loves Colombia. Argentina and Uruguay look very strong. Spain aims straight to the voters’ hearts. Panama has its musical tradition. Ecuador's beautiful sceneries are beyond expectations. The entry from Peru is gorgeous, visually speaking, and Mexico has the opportunity to win its first Oscar®.

The experts predict besides the nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, Mexico is going to be nominated for best director, cinematography, and original screenplay, and “Roma” is going to be the first movie entirely spoken in Spanish to be nominated for best picture in Oscar® history.
A Fantastic Woman, Chile, Oscar Winner
One year after the winning of the plausible transgender film “A Fantastic Woman” from Chile, another Latino film has the possibilities to win, “Roma” from Mexico. The Aztec country has never won an Oscar® in this category regardless of its eight nominations. 
Sergio and Sergei, Cuba, disqualified from the Oscars®
In the case of “Sergio and Sergei” from Cuba, the official details of its disqualification are unknown.

Usually, there are four circumstances: one, the film was not shown in Cuban movie theaters before the due date. Two, the percentage of the English spoken in the film is greater than the amount allowed. Three, the producers, filmmakers, and talent are from other nationalities other than the represented country. Fourth, the Academy did not receive the film before the due date.
“Black Orpheus” is a clear example of how the rules work. The story and talent were Brazilian, but the production was French. The Oscar® went to France. 
In the “Pan’s Labyrinth” case, the production and the filmmakers were Mexicans. The story, actors, and settings were Spaniard, that’s why Guillermo del Toro was able to represent Mexico in 2007 with his beautiful masterpiece and not Spain. The fairy tale got a total of six Oscar nominations, winning three: best makeup, cinematography, and set design.

The films from Ibero-America are making big waves in the international arena. Those projects have won many awards in Berlin, Cannes, San Sebastian, and Venice. 

After the projects' success in a film festival, the cavalry of a foreign movie starts when is trying to get to its audience in the United States, we are talking about distribution. 

The biggest task for film-lovers is also to find out where the movie is playing. They have to hunt those movies at the film festival or special screenings because it is going to take a while to search for those beautiful Latino movies at the movie theaters or online.

The Latino Entries to the 91st Academy Awards are:

“El Ángel” 
Luis Ortega, director

“The Goalkeeper/
Rodrigo Patiño, director.


“The Great Mystical Circus” 
Carlos Diegues, director.

“And Suddenly the Dawn/
Y depronto el amanecer.” 
Silvio Caiozzi, director.


“Birds of Passage/
Pájaros de Verano” 
Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra, directors.

Costa Rica 

Alexandra Latishev, director.

Dominican Republic
Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias, director.


“A Son of Man” 
Directors: Jamaicanoproblem and Pablo Agüero,

Alfonso Cuarón, director

“Ruben Blades Is Not My Name/
Yo no me llamo Rubén Blades.”  
Abner Benaim, director

“The Heiresses/
Las herederas.” 
Marcelo Martinessi, director. 

Oscar Catacora, director

Joäo Botelho, director. 

Javier Fesser, director.

“Twelve-Year Night/
La noche de los 12 años.” 
Álvaro Brechner, director.
The film chronicles the life in prison of the
beloved former president José Mujica.

“The Family/
La familia.”
Gustavo Rondón Córdova, director.

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

The ceremony for the 91st Oscars® is on Sunday, February 24, 2019, Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

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