Spanish Academy selects 'Cell,' 'Rain' 'Lope'

Daniel Monzon’s “Cell 211,” Iciar Bollain’s “Even the Rain” and Andrucha Waddington’s “Lope” have made the Spanish Academy’s three-film shortlist for its foreign-language Oscar entry.

Ubiquitous Spanish thesp Luis Tosar takes lead roles in “Cell” and “Rain,” and a secondary one in “Lope.”

“Cell,” “Rain” and Alex de la Iglesia’s Venice Silver Lion winner “The Last Circus” will also face off to rep Spain for Mexico’s Ariel Awards.

Helmed by Brazilian Waddington “Lope” is a “Shakespeare in Love”-ish portrait turning on Lope de Vega, Spain’s greatest 16th-century playwright.

Initiating its sales campaign at Toronto, “Lope” has played to an upbeat industry reaction inking early deals with two bluechip distributors, U.K.’s Optimum Releasing and Germany’s Concorde, producer Edmon Roch told Variety.

International sales are handled by Wild Bunch.

Bollain’s “Rain” will world preem Thursday at Toronto. Written by Ken Loach’s longtime collaborator Paul Laverty, “Rain” turns on contempo filmmakers shooting a Columbus-pic in a dirt-poor Bolivia.

Sleeper pic “Cell 211″ was a B.O. hit last year, cuming $18 million to become the top grossing Spanish-language pic of the year.

Handled by Paris-based Films Distribution, prison thriller sales include a U.S. pickup by IFC.

The final Spanish candidate for both kudofests will be announced Sept. 29.

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