×

Almodovar Out of Foreign-Language Oscar Race

Spanish Academy announces four-pic sumission shortlist

MADRID – Pedro Almodovar’s return to broad comedy, “I’m So Excited!”, will not be squaring off for next March 2’s foreign-language Academy Award.

As many times in the past, Almodovar’s latest was cold-shouldered by members of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who have chosen four other movies in a shortlist for its foreign-language Oscar candidate: Manuel Martin Cuenca’s “Cannibal,” Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s “Family United,” Gracia Querejeta’s “15 Years Plus a Day” and Santiago Zannou’s “Scorpion in Love.”

After another round of Academy voting, Spain’s foreign-language Oscar submission will be announced September 25 during the San Sebastian Festival.

Spain’s candidate short list does, however, highlight notable titles from a younger generation of filmmakers, two of which deserved more ducats at the Spanish B.O.

World preeming as a Special Presentation at Toronto before it segues to San Sebastian’s main competition, “Cannibal,” a love story-cum-thriller, was included mid-August by Toronto’s artistic director Cameron Bailey in his Mission List of 15 films at Toronto which can transform the way people see the world.

One of the most notable figures of a new half-generation of directors which debuted mid-last-decade, Sanchez Arevalo’s movies have combined international arthouse appeal with mainstream box office results in Spain. Bowing Sept. 13 via Warner Bros. in Spain, “Family United” turns on a dystopian wedding, unspooling during Spain’s World Cup final nail-bitter.

Winning best film and screenplay at Spain’s Malaga Festival, “15 Days” reprises Querejeta’s central concern for family dynamics, here the troubled relations between a mother and her unruly adopted son.

Underperforming but underrated in Spain, “Scorpion,” a modern-day tale of star-crossed lovers – she’s an illegal immigrant, he’s an ex skin-head trying to follow his calling as a boxer – “Scorpion” features Carlos Bardem as a boxing trainer, brother Javier Bardem as a neo-Nazi bigot.

Grossing Euros314,000 ($414,000) in Spain, movie has had more luck pre-selling abroad, a likely future scenario for many young directors’ offerings from Spain.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Film Comment Magazine Goes on Hiatus

    Film Comment Magazine to Go on Hiatus as Film at Lincoln Center Lays Off Half of Staff

    Many companies are being financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Film at Lincoln Center is the latest organization to have to lay off employees and pause some of their operations. On Friday, executive director Lesli Klainberg released a memo announcing that the center had to furlough or lay off about half of its [...]

  • "Birds of Prey" egg sandwich

    'Birds of Prey' Actor Bruno Oliver Recreates Harley Quinn's Famous Sandwich

    When actor Bruno Oliver booked the role of short order cook Sal in “Birds of Prey: (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” he had no idea how significant Sal and his breakfast sandwich were to the story. “You couldn’t tell from the audition necessarily and as actors, we always worry about our scenes [...]

  • Minyan

    'Minyan': Film Review

    Best known for the unexpectedly soul-shattering San Francisco suicide doc “The Bridge,” indie filmmaker Eric Steel came out and came of age in 1980s New York at a moment just before AIDS devastated the city’s gay community. Such timing must have been surreal, to assume something so liberating about one’s own identity, only to watch [...]

  • Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches

    Film New Roundup: Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches North American Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, “The Queen’s Corgi” finds a home, the Overlook Film Festival is postponed and the California Film Commission adjusts its tax credit rules due to the coronavirus. ACQUISITION Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the animated family comedy feature “The Queen’s Corgi,” and plans to make it available on DVD and to [...]

  • APA Logo

    APA Sets Salary Cuts and Furloughs in Wake of Covid-19 Pandemic

    Following in the steps of several agencies dealing with the coronavirus, APA has informed all offices of upcoming salary cuts along with possible suspensions and furloughs for employees due to the pandemic’s economic effect on the industry. APA board of directors will make the largest financial sacrifice. The move has been made to avoid layoffs [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    DGA, SAG-AFTRA, WGA Scramble to Keep Residuals Flowing During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Hollywood’s creative guilds have been working overtime to keep residual checks going out to members during the coronavirus crisis. Even though most of the staff members of the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America West have been working remotely, the guilds have stepped up efforts to maintain the flow of [...]

  • Hannah Marks, Dylan Sprouse. Hannah Marks,

    How a Bart Simpson T-Shirt Delayed Dylan Sprouse’s Movie ‘Banana Split’

    Long before the release of “Booksmart,” actress Hannah Marks set out to make a movie that would be the female bookend to “Superbad.” She started writing the script eight years ago, at 18, based on a real-life story about how, in high school, she befriended the girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend. Many drafts followed for “Banana [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content