Spain sends Flowers to the Oscars
by Alfonso Rivera
- Flowers, a Basque production shot entirely in the Basque language, is heading to Hollywood to vie for the next nomination for Best Foreign-language Film
Exactly one year ago, Flowers [+see also:
film profile] was presented at the 62nd San Sebastián International Film Festival, making it the first Basque-language film ever to take part in the gathering’s official competition section. The movie jointly directed by José Mari Goenaga and Jon Garaño went home empty-handed from that contest, as the overwhelming winner of the festival was Magical Girl [+see also:
interview: Carlos Vermut
film profile], which was now, together with Felices 140 [+see also:
interview: Gracia Querejeta
film profile], also a finalist on the shortlist to represent Spain at the upcoming edition of the Oscars in the Best Foreign-language Film category.
This morning, at a short ceremony held at the Film Academy and presented by its president, Antonio Resines, actors Álvaro Cervantes and Irene Escolar (who earned a great deal of praise for her outstanding work in Un otoño sin Berlín) opened the envelope containing the name of the Spanish representative that will be heading to Hollywood: Flowers is an intense and beautiful drama about pain, loss and absence that, according to its directors, is based on a song by Cecilia called Un ramito de violetas.
Goenaga and Garaño, who already did some astonishing work with their sensitive feature debut, For 80 Days [+see also:
film profile], in which they tackled the topic of lesbianism between elderly people, are already preparing their third film, Gigante de Alzo, based on the case of the man from Gipuzkoa who was famous all over Europe in the 18th century, owing to his being almost two-and-a-half metres tall.
Of the three candidates that had been duking it out for this opportunity, Flowers, a meticulously prepared, touching and magnificently acted movie, won out over Magical Girl and Felices 140, as it is able to fit in better with the tastes of the easy-going academy members in Hollywood, who would perhaps not be keen on the dark, politically incorrect humour of the features by Carlos Vermut and Gracia Querejeta. Any doubts will be cleared up on 14 January.
Flowers, which received two nominations at the most recent Goya Awards (Best Film and Best Original Song), was written by its directors (together with Aitor Arregi), was produced by them through Moriarti Produkzioak, and stars the trio of lead actresses Itziar Ituño, Nagore Aranburu and Itziar Aizpuru. It is distributed by A Contracorriente Films, while Film Factory Entertainment takes care of its international sales.
(Translated from Spanish)