A commission of nine film industry representatives announced the unanimous decision Thursday in Sao Paulo.
The biopic depicts the true story of Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, from his impoverished childhood to his emergence as a union and political leader.
The commission members, appointed by the government and the Brazilian Film Academy, selected “Lula” among 23 applicants.
In spite of President Lula’s above 80% approval rate, the pic had a disappointing commercial career, grossing just $4 million this year. But commission members said they expect Lula’s popularity to help the pic in the Oscar race.
“Lula is a star here and abroad,” said vet helmer Roberto Faria, president of the Brazilian Film Academy and a commission member.
Submissions for the foreign language Oscar must reach the Academy by 5 p.m. Oct. 1. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 25. The 83rd Academy Awards will be held at the Kodak Theater on Feb. 27.