'The Artist and the Model,' 'Unit 7' were on shortlist

MADRID — Pablo Berger’s “Blancanieves,” a black-and-white homage to silent cinema, is Spain’s entry for the foreign-language film Oscar.

A retread of the Snow White tale, set in 1920s Seville with the heroine as a feisty bullfighter, “Blancanieves” world preemed at the Toronto festival this month to instant acclaim: “This year’s crowded field of Snow White movies has a winner, at least in terms of quality, in Pablo Berger’s delightful ‘Blancanieves,'” Variety announced.

Playing in competition at San Sebastian, it currently heads a Spanish critics poll with a remarkable 8.3 out of 10 score.

Spain’s Arcadia Motion Pictures lead-produced “Blancanieves”; Noodles Prod. and Arte France Cinema co-produced from France. Sales agent Dreamcatchers is accumulating foreign territory sales off Toronto and San Sebastian; a U.S. distribution deal is only a matter of time.

Members of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chose “Blancanieves” from a three-film shortlist, announced Sept. 12, which also included Fernando Trueba’s “The Artist and the Model” and Alberto Rodriguez’s “Unit 7.”

Spain last won the foreign-language Oscar in 20014 with Alejandro Amenabar’s “The Sea Inside.”

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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