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Pedro Almodovar’s drama “Julieta,” a U.S. pickup by Sony Pictures Classics, has been selected as Spain’s foreign-language Oscar candidate.

Members of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chose “Julieta” from a three-film shortlist, announced Aug. 19, which also included Iciar Bollain’s “The Olive Tree” and Paula Ortiz’s “The Bride.”

Almodovar’s 20th film, “Julieta” adapts a trio of short stories – “Chance,” “Soon” and “Silence” – by Nobel Prize-winning Canadian author Alice Munro.

Starring Adriana Ugarte (“Palm Trees in the Snow”), Emma Suarez (“The Mosquito Net”) and Dario Grandinetti (“Talk to Her”) , the film marks the helmer’s return to women-centered storytelling, this time focusing on a mother’s emotional life story, driven by a constant sense of loss.

“Julieta” is produced by Esther Garcia at El Deseo, brothers Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s Madrid-based outfit, in association with FilmNation Entertainment., which handled international sales. Telefonica’s paybox Movistar Plus and pubcaster RTVE also backed the film, acquiring Spanish pay-TV and free-to-air rights, respectively.

Distributed in Spain by Warner Bros, “Julieta” opened in April, earning $2.4 million. Sony Pictures Classics has set a Dec. 21 release in the U.S.

Spain’s most Oscar-laureled director in history, Almodovar has won two statues – best foreign-language film in 1999 for “All About My Mother” and original screenplay for “Talk To Her” in 2002. He has been nominated for three more: “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” for foreign-language, in 1988; “Talk to Her,” for directing; and “Volver,” for Penelope Cruz, as best actress.

The most recent Almodovar title selected by the Spanish Academy as Spain’s foreign-language Oscar candidate was  “Volver” in 2006.

Spain last won the foreign-language Oscar in 2004, with Alejandro Amenabar’s “The Sea Inside.”