Prison drama enters Oscar race

BUENOS AIRES — Pablo Trapero’s prison drama “Leonera” (Lion’s Den), which competed at Cannes this year, is Argentina’s candidate for foreign-language Oscar consideration.

The Argentine Film Arts and Sciences Academy selected the helmer’s fifth feature, the story of a pregnant, middle-class woman falsely accused of a crime, from 67 films.

“Lion’s Den,” starring Martina Gusman (“Born and Bred”), beat candidates including Daniel Burman’s box-office hit “El nido vacio” (The Empty Nest), Lucrecia Martel’s “La mujer sin cabeza” (The Headless Woman) and Lucia Cedron’s family drama “Cordero de Dios” (Lamb of God).

Trapero’s Matanza Cine produced “Lion’s Den” with Disney-backed Patagonik Film Group, Walter Salles’ VideoFilmes and South Korea’s Cineclick Asia.

Some 96 countries have been invited to submit films for foreign-language Oscar consideration. Deadline for submission is Oct. 1, the nominations will be announced Jan. 22, and the 81st awards ceremony takes place on Feb. 22.

The Argentine Academy has also selected “Ancieto,” a musical of a romantic ballet by vet helmer Leonardo Favio, as its contender for Spain’s Goya Awards, in the Spanish-language foreign film category.

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