Film is also country's foreign language Oscar entry

Juan Jose Campanella’s “El secreto de sus ojos” (The Secret in Their Eyes) swept Argentina’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 2009 Premios Sur awards, held late Tuesday in Buenos Aires.

Pic, which is the country’s foreign-language Oscar hopeful, won in 13 categories, including film, director and adapted screenplay. It had received 17 nominations.

Ricardo Darin (“The Signal”) scooped actor for his role in “Secret” as a former criminal-court employee writing a novel based on a murder that occurred 20 years ago. The film also scored actress for Soledad Villamil (“Red Bear”), supporting actor for Guillermo Francella (“Incorregibles”) and new actor for Jose Luis Gioia.

Secret” rounded out its haul with honors for art direction, cinematography, original music, set design and sound.

Secret” has been in the box office top 10 for 18 of its 19 weeks in theaters, grossing some 34.8 million pesos ($9 million) — the best performance of a local pic since 1970.

Pablo Fendrik’s crime tale “El asaltante” (The Mugger) took debut feature.

The documentary honor went to Leon Gieco, Sebastian Schindel and Fernando Molnar’s “Mundo Alas,” a road movie about artists with disabilities.

Leonor Manso scooped supporting actress for “Anita,” helmer Marcos Carnevale’s story of a young woman with Down’s syndrome who gets lost in the city after a bomb explodes at a Jewish community center.

New actress nod went to pop star Emme (aka Mariela Vitale) for her performance in poor-rich love clash “El nino pez” (The Fish Child).

Original screenplay went to Mariano Llinas’ “Historias extraordinarias” (Extraordinary Stories), a four-hour, multilayered adventure and suspense drama.

The academy picked Laurent Cantet’s Cannes-laurelled “Entre les murs” (The Class) for foreign film.

This was the fourth ceremony held by the academy, which was re-formed in 2004 after being disbanding by a military government in 1955. It is associated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Hollywood.

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