MADRID — Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Orphanage,” Emilio Martinez Lazaro’s “13 Roses” and Jose Luis Garci’s “Luz de domingo” have made the Spanish Academy’s three-film shortlist for its foreign-language Oscar entry.
Spain’s candidate will be announced Sept. 27.
If the vote runs true to form, it could see Guillermo del Toro once more involved with a foreign language Oscar contender. Del Toro godfathered “Orphanage,” which is the front-runner to be the Spanish flag holder.
Unlike the other two titles, the Rodar y Rodar/Telecinco Cinema-produced child ghoul thriller boasts a distinguished international career. It was picked up at Berlin by Picturehouse for U.S. distribution, and has been sold near on worldwide by France’s Wild Bunch. It also played Cannes Critics’ Week. New Line is in advanced negotiations for an English-language remake.
But “Orphanage” still faces some competition. Narrating the true-life arrest and execution of 13 young women by Francoist authorities, “Roses” features 13 actresses. Thesps form the base of the Spanish Academy membership.
Garci, whose “Domingo” turns on early 20th century rural violence, has a rump of supporters in the Academy and a foreign language Oscar in his possession for 1983’s “Volver a empezar.”