Adrian Saba’s drama “The Cleaner,” set in an apocalyptic Lima, is Peru’s pick for the foreign-language film category at the Academy Awards.

The Ministry of Culture, which established a committee for selection, made the announcement this week. The committee is made up of Javier Alfredo Portocarrero, Rodrigo Ernesto Portales, Rafael Álvaro Sedano and Pierre Emile Vandoorne.

The film was chosen  “for its original proposal of an apocalyptic Lima, where loneliness and strain are shown through an effective use of cinematographic elements, expressing a city that slowly fades out,” said the committee.

Variety reviewed the film in January. http://variety.com/2013/film/reviews/the-cleaner-1117948965/

“The Cleaner” follows a forensic cleaner, played by Victor Prada, in the midst of a strange epidemic in Lima. He finds an 8-year-old boy (Adrian Du Bois) who has been orphaned by the disease, and looks after him.

The movie is Saba’s first feature-length film and has screened at several film festivals, including Chicago, Palm Springs, Seattle and San Francisco. It made its world premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival, where it won a special mention of the New Directors Award.

Peru has submitted films to the category 20 times, starting in 1967 with “En la selva no hay estrellas” and received its first Oscar nom in 2010 with “The Milk of Sorrow.” Though “The Cleaner” has not been picked up for U.S. distribution, it was released in Peru earlier this year.

The deadline for submissions for the foreign language category is Tuesday. Nominations will be announced Jan. 16, and the 86th Academy Awards will be held March 2 at the Dolby Theater.