Almodóvar, Zambrano and Villaronga shortlisted to represent Spain in Oscar race
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
The latest features by Pedro Almodóvar, Benito Zambrano and Agustí Villaronga have been shortlisted by the Film Academy to represent Spain in the race for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and the Mexican Ariel for Best Foreign Film. A psychological thriller (Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In [+see also:
interview: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile]) and two dramas about the Spanish Civil War (Zambrano’s The Sleeping Voice [+see also:
film profile] and Villaronga’s Black Bread [+see also:
film profile]) will compete for this coveted nomination, which will be announced on September 28.
These three films are also at completely different points in their commercial career. Whereas Black Breadhas completely finished its run (it was presented in competition at San Sebastian last year, was released in theatres soon afterwards, swept the board at the Goya Awards in February and, immediately after, was rereleased in theatres to reap the rewards of this recognition at the box office), The Skin I Live In is in the middle of its commercial theatrical exhibition (after screening at Cannes in May, it is coming up to its third week at the box office, where it has grossed over €2m since its release on September 2). Meanwhile, The Sleeping Voice is about to start its run (it will be presented in the upcoming days in competition at San Sebastian and will later be released in theatres on October 21).
Almodóvar is thus once again part of the Academy’s plans, at least as a shortlisted finalist. Precisely because of this nomination process, the La Mancha-born director remained distanced from the Academy for years. He commented: “I want to thank the members of the Academy who voted for us. Our film is currently showing in theatres and we hope it will be boosted by this honour. We’ll enjoy these two weeks of boom. The Skin I Live In is the most favoured one in the short term, as it is on in theatres”.
Unlike other countries, which announce their selected contender straightaway, the Academy has opted for this procedure (announcement of the three finalists and, two weeks later, the selected representative, creating a certain suspense) to increase Spanish cinema’s visibility among audiences.
(Translated from Spanish)
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