×

Oscar rejects Puerto Rico’s foreign-lingo film entry

But Domincan Republic pic gets in

Despite having sent 11 pics for foreign-language film Oscar consideration since 1986, Puerto Rico has been shut out of the race this year because of its status as a U.S. protectorate. However, the Dominican Republican won an appeal to get its pic into consideration.

“We wanted to clear up an inconsistency that allowed a U.S. territory to compete in a category meant for countries outside the U.S.,” said AMPAS chief operating officer Ric Robertson. “We told them in our letter last year that 2010 would be the last time they could submit an entry.”

According to Puerto Rico’s film commissioner Mariella Perez, the Academy notified her in August 2010 of the rule.

“After asking it to reconsider, the Academy replied that its decision was final, but that Puerto Rico could apply for any of the other categories,” Perez said. “I notified the filmmakers of this new rule but they sent their film anyway.”

Popular on Variety

Naturally, the Academy rejected helmer Sonia Fritz’s Spanish-language “America,” starring Edward James Olmos, Tony Plana and Lymari Nadal.

Puerto Rican pundits allege the Academy bowed to pressure from Hispanic filmmakers in other states who felt that Puerto Rico was being given a favored status. They question why Puerto Rico is recognized as an independent country in sporting events. “Different organizations have different rules,” said Robertson.

Puerto Rico has been submitting entries since Marcos Zurinaga’s 1986 pic “La gran fiesta” (The Big Party) was the hopeful in the 59th Academy Awards in 1987. In 1989, Jacobo Morales’ “What Happened to Santiago” became the first local pic to clinch a nom.

In 2010, Rafi Mercado’s “Miente” (Lie) vied for a foreign-lingo film Oscar nom.

Fritz will still have a chance at a foreign-lingo Oscar slot through the Dominican Republic pic she co produced, “La Hija Natural” (Love Child) by Leticia Tonos. This was initially rejected by the Academy over a technicality but was accepted after the Dominican Republic appealed. The country had failed to submit the names of its selection committee members to the org before the Oct. 3 deadline.

The 84th Academy Awards will be held Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

More Film

  • Alberto Martin, Alegre Cordelia, Alvaro Gago,

    'Bees,' ‘Happiness,' 'Quinquis' Selected by Madrid’s ECAM Incubator (EXCLUSIVE)

    BARCELONA – “20,000 Species of Bees,” “Something Like Happiness” and “Los quinquis” are among five feature projects that will be put through development at the ECAM Madrid Film School’s pioneering Incubator program. The Incubator forms part of The Screen, a program at the ECAM Madrid Film School, which is aimed at fostering links between on-the-rise Spain-based [...]

  • Onward Animated Film 2020

    ‘Onward’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Disney Pixar claims the top spot in spending with “Onward.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $4.99 million through Sunday for 784 national ad airings on 35 networks. [...]

  • Josef Mengele

    'Wasp Network' Producer Teams With Kirill Serebrennikov on 'Josef Mengele' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov, whose last film “Leto” competed at Cannes in 2018, is teaming with “Wasp Network” producer Charles Gillibert to adapt the best-selling French novel “The Disappearance of Josef Mengele.” Winner of the prestigious Renaudot Prize in 2017, Olivier Guez’s novel “The Disappearance of Josef Mengele” was published in more than 30 countries [...]

  • Sabrina Carpenter

    Film News Roundup: Sabrina Carpenter's 'Short History of the Long Road' Finds Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, Sabrina Carpenter’s “The Short History of the Long Road” gets a home, comedian Jo Koy’s life will become a movie, “True to the Game” is getting a sequel and APA promotes Chris Ridenhour. ACQUISITION FilmRise has acquired Sabrina Carpenter’s coming-of-age drama “The Short History of the Long Road” and is [...]

  • Stella Meghie

    Filmmaker Stella Meghie on Crafting 'The Photograph' and Being a 'Romance Film Nerd'

    Stella Meghie loves love. And she’s currently feeling a lot of it. As “Sonic the Hedgehog” soared to number one over Presidents’ Day weekend, “The Photograph” made a solid $13 million. Catching up with Meghie early Saturday morning after the film’s debut, the writer/director/executive producer admitted she’d been looking at the numbers. “I’m grateful people [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content