Sanchez-Arevalo, Trueba, Coixet pics compete

MADRID — Fernando Trueba’s “The Dancer and the Thief,” Daniel Sanchez-Arevalo’s “Gordos” and Isabel Coixet’s “Map of the Sounds of Tokyo” have made the three-pic shortlist for selection as Spain’s foreign-language Oscar contender.

Pics will also face off to rep Spain for Mexico’s Ariel Awards.

The final candidate for both kudofests will be announced Sept. 29. Choice was made by members of Spain’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Spain’s AMPAS has chosen three vastly different films from different generations of Spanish film directors.

“Dancer” is a classically hewn tale of high-romance between three Chilean outsiders, two ex-cons and a wannabe ballet dancer.

The first fiction feature for seven years from Trueba, who won a foreign-language Academy Award for “Belle Epoque,” “Dancer” world preems Saturday at the San Sebastian Film Festival, but played to an upbeat response at sneak peek previews for Spanish Academy members.

Bowing in theaters last Friday in Spain, Venice Days player “Gordos” is the second film from Sanchez-Arevalo, one of the leading lights of Spain’s newest generation of movie directors.

Pic is a daring take on society’s obsession with appearances as seen through the eyes of a group of tubbies.

Classic international arthouse fare from a director who broke through in the 1990s, Coixet’s Japan-set romantic drama “Map of the Sounds of Tokyo” world preemed in Competition at Cannes this year.

Jonathan Holland contributed to this report.

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