Armendáriz: from Obaba to Hollywood?
by Vitor Pinto
Montxo Armendáriz's Obaba has just been selected by the Academy of Arts & Cinematographic Sciences to represent Spain in the run-in for the forthcoming Oscars in the category for the Best Foreign Film.
The film, which opened the last edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, beat Fernando León de Aranoa's Princesas and José Luis Garci's Ninette. Each country proposes a film and it’s now up to the Hollywood Academy to announce on the 31st of January the five titles competing for the prestigious award in the ceremony which will take place on the 5th of March.
Obaba focuses on the film student's trip to Obaba, with the aim of to filming the daily reality of its people. But the locals appear to be stuck in a past from which they cannot, or they do not want to, leave. Starring Pilar López de Ayala, Juan Diego Botto and Bárbara Lennie, the film opened in Spain on the 16th of September, distributed by Alta Films. Obaba was produced by Oria Films, Pandora Filmproduktion and Neue Impuls Film, in collaboration with TVE, Canal +, Filmförderung Hamburg, Eurimages and the MEDIA programme of the European Commission. International sales are handled by Bavaria Film International.
The selection of Obaba was announced by Alejandro Amenábar, whose film Mar Adentro [+see also:
film profile] won the Oscar for the Best Foreign Film at the last Academy Awards ceremony. Montxo Armendáriz's Segredos del Corazón was nominated 1997 in the same category but the Academy decided to award the prize to the Dutch film Karakter.
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