Benjamin Avila pic set amid country's 1976-83 dirty war

BUENOS AIRES — “Infancia clandestina” (Clandestine Childhood), a youth love story set during a military dictatorship, got the nod Friday as Argentina’s candidate for the foreign-language Oscar nomination, a breakthrough for director Benjamin Avila.

Avila’s first fiction feature, “Childhood” explores the love of two 12 year olds set among resistance fighters during Argentina’s 1976-83 dirty war.

Film stars Natalia Oreiro (“France”), Ernesto Alterio (“The Widows of Thursdays”) and Cesar Troncoso (“Norberto’s Deadline”).

“Childhood” beat out Armando Bo’s Elvis Presley impersonator dramedy “El ultimo Elvis” (The Last Elvis), Pablo Trapero’s shantytown-set drama “Elefante blanco” and Diego Kaplan’s comedy “Dos mas dos” for the nomination.

Luis Puenzo’s Historias Cinematograficas and Avila’s Habitacion 1520 Prods. produced “Clandestine Childhood” with Antartida Prods., Academia de Filmes and Radio y Television Argentina. Pyramide has the international sales duties.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for best foreign film on Jan. 10. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 24.

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