MIAMI — David Trueba’s Spanish Goya winner “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed,” Lucia Puenzo’s Argentine Oscar entry “The German Doctor” (aka “Wakolda”) and Chilean Sebastian Lelio’s Berlin actress winner “Gloria” will vie for the top award at the inaugural Platino Ibero-American Film Awards.
Consolidating their status as the front-runners for this year’s big prize, “Living,” “Doctor” and “Gloria” all scored four nominations a piece, the most of any title in the Platinos’ inaugural edition. Their nominations include direction and screenplay, as well as either lead actor – Javier Camara for “Living” – or lead actress: Natalia Oteiro for “Doctor” and Paulina Garcia for “Gloria.
Also nominated in the best picture category are four other films: Two from Mexico – Amat Escalante’s Cannes’ director winner “Heli” and “La jaula de oro,” from Diego Quemada Diez that won a Cannes Un Certain Talent award – plus Andres Baiz’s Colombia title “Roa,” and Alex de la Iglesia’s “Witching & Bitching.”
In high-profile acting nominations, Eugenio Derbez made the cut for U.S./Mexican B.O. smash hit “Instructions Not Included” where one other rival will be Ricardo Darin, for “Thesis of a Homicide.”
In the lead actress run, Chile’s Garcia, winner of a Berlin Silver Bear for “Gloria,” will face-off with “Wounded” star Marian Alvarez – 2013 San Sebastian’s actress winner – “Wakolda”’s Oreiro, Dominican Republic’s Nashla Bogaert (“Quien Manda?”) and Mexican Karen Martinez, who co-toplines “La jaula de oro.”
A bold attempt to create kudos of Oscar or Latin Grammy impact for now closer-knit movie industries in Latin America, Spain and Portugal, the Platino Awards will take place April 5 at the Teatro Anayansi in Panama City, with a gala awards ceremony, then spectacular party.
Spain’s Egeda producers’ rights collection society and Fipca, the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers organize the Awards.
Aimed at strengthening a Latino star system, the inaugural Platino Awards are still a work in progress. Organizers had originally suggested three nominations per category but have now gone up to five in most.
Though both Spain and Mexico score two best pics noms a piece, the jury has made an effort to spread kudos possibilities around Latin America. Victor Prada scored a lead actor nom for his role as a loner who befriends an orphaned boy in Peruvian Adrian Saba’s slightly futuristic post-plague relationship drama “The Cleaner,” which is also up for consideration for Karin Zielinski’s original score.
Category contenders mostly recognize recognized films. They also acknowledge the attempts of multiple younger filmmakers in Spain and Latin America to move from hard-core arthouse toward crossover titles that mix mainstream tropes – star actors, thriller elements, characters for which audiences can feel large empathy – and some social or even political sub-text: Three of the seven best pic candidates – “Doctor,” “Living” and “Roa” – are set in a troubled past for their countries of origin, though offering obvious contempo resonanace. The two Mexican films up for best picture tackle present-day Mexico’s biggest traumas – immigration, and drug cartel violence.
Derbez, Mexican actress Blanca Guerra (“La Zona”), Venezuela’s Patricia Velazquez (“The Mummy,” “The Mummy Returns”) and Victoria Abril will present plaudits. Musical acts will feature Carlos Vives, Carlos Baute, Diego Torres, Fanny Lu and Sheila Durcal, among others.
(Emilio Mayorga contributed to this report.)
And the nominees are:
“Heli,” Amat Escalante (Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, France)
“La jaula de oro,” Diego Quemada-Diez (Mexico, Spain)
“Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed,” David Trueba (Spain)
“The German Doctor” (Argentina, France, Spain, Norway)
“Gloria,” Sebastian Lelio (Chile)
“Roa,” Andi Baiz (Colombia)
“Witching & Bitching,” Alex de la Iglesia (Spain)
Eugenio Derbez (“Instructions Not Included”)
Javier Camara (“Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed”)
Ricardo Darin (“Thesis on a Homicide”)
Victor Prada (“The Cleaner”)
Antonio de la Torre (“Cannibal”)
Karen Martinez (“La jaula de oro”)
Laura de la Uz (“La pelicula de Ana”)
Marian Alvarez (“Wounded”)
Nashla Bogaert (“¿Quien manda?”)
Paulina Garcia (“Gloria”)
Natalia Oreira (“The German Doctor”)
Karin Zielinski (“The Cleaner”)
Emilio Kauderer (“Foosball”)
Joan Valent (“Witching & Bitching”)
“Foosball,” Juan Jose Campanella (Argentina, Spain)
“El secreto del medallon de Jade,” Leopoldo Aguilar, Rodolfo Guzman (Mexico)
“Anina,” Alfredo Soderguit (Uruguay)
“Justin and the Knights of Valor,” Manuel Sicilia (Spain)
“Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury,” Luiz Bolognesi (Brazil)
“Cuates de Australia,” Everardo Gonzalez (Mexico)
“Con la pata quebrada,” Diego Galan (Spain)
“La eterna noche de las doce lunas,” Priscilla Padilla (Colombia)
“O dia que durou 21 anos,” Camilo Tavares (Brazil)
“Sigo siendo,” Javier Corcuera (Peru)
Sebastian Lelio, Gonzalo Maza (“Gloria”)
Daniel Sanchez Arevalo (“Family United”)
David Trueba (“Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed,”)
Lucia Puenzo (“The German Doctor”)