Pic beats 'Sangre,' 'Billiards Tables'

BARCELONA — “The Blind Sunflowers,” helmed by Jose Luis Cuerda (“The Education of Fairies,” “Butterfly Tongues”), has been chosen as Spain’s foreign-language Oscar candidate.

News was announced Friday by the president of the Spanish Academy, Angeles Gonzalez Sinde. Pic was one of a three-film shortlist with Jose Luis Garci’s “Sangre de mayo” and Gracia Querejeta’s “Seven Billiards Tables.”

Set just after the end of the Spanish Civil War, “Sunflowers” turns on the story of a woman who is thought to be a widow, but whose husband is actually hiding in their house.

Screenplay was one of the last by Spain’s premier scribe, Rafael Azcona, who co-wrote with Cuerda Azcona.

The cast includes Maribel Verdu, (“Tetro,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”), Javier Camara (“Chef’s Special,” “Talk to Her”) and Raul Arevalo (“DarkBlueAlmostBlack”).

Released in Spain by Alta on Aug. 29 on 190 copies, “Sunflowers” has cumed $4.1 million to date, a strong performance for a Spanish film on home turf.

The pic screened in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema section.

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