Jayro Bustamante’s “La Llorona” Makes Oscars Short List in International Feature Film Category

Jayro Bustamante is one step closer to having a date with Oscar…

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has revealed its shortlist of International Feature Film potential nominees, with the Guatemalan film director and screenwriter’s supernatural horror drama La Llorona making the grade.

Jayro Bustamante

Bustamante’s third feature film, representing his native Guatemala in the race, is rooted in the more recent history of Guatemala’s ruthless military leaders and their efforts in erasing indigenous tribes.

La Llorona recently made history as the first Central American film to earn a Golden Globe nomination.

But Bustamante isn’t the only Latinx director to have a project make the shortlist…

Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent, representing Chile, is among the 15 shortlisted films…

The 37-year-old Chilean writer/director’s documentary centers on a private investigator in Chile hires someone to work as a mole at a retirement home where a client of his suspects the caretakers of elder abuse.

Fernando Frías de la Parra’s I’m No Longer Here, representing Mexico, still has an Oscar shot as well…

Written and directed by the 42-year-old Mexican filmmaker, the film has been called “a thoughtful portrait of cultural identity.” It centers on a teen from Monterrey, Mexico who forges a new life in Queens, New York.

The full Oscar nominations will be announced on March 15, and ABC will air the 93rd annual Academy Awards live on April 25.

Here are the shortlisted films:

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Quo Vadis, Aida?
Chile, The Mole Agent
Czech Republic, Charlatan
Denmark, Another Round
France, Two of Us
Guatemala, La Llorona
Hong Kong, Better Days
Iran, Sun Children
Ivory Coast, Night of the Kings
Mexico, I’m No Longer Here
Norway, Hope
Romania, Collective
Russia, Dear Comrades!
Taiwan, A Sun
Tunisia, The Man Who Sold His Skin

La Llorona

The Mole Agent

I’m No Longer Here


 

The Christina Aguilera-Performed “Mulan” Single, “Loyal Brave True” Makes Oscars Shortlist

Christina Aguilera is one step closer to having an Oscar moment…

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has revealed its shortlist of Original Song potential nominees, with the 40-year-old half-Ecuadorian American actress’ single for the live action Mulan film still in the running.

Christina Aguilera

Loyal Brave True,” performed by Aguilera is one of the 15 tracks to make the shortlist, which will be whittled down to five.

Co-written by Billy CrabtreeHarry Gregson-WilliamsJamie Hartman and Rosi Golan, the song was released as a single on March 6, 2020 by Walt Disney Records.[

While Aguilera won’t win an Oscar should the song ultimately win, since she didn’t contribute either to music, lyrics, or both in her own right, she would perform the song during the ceremony and before this award is presented.

The full Oscar nominations will be announced on March 15, and ABC will air the 93rd annual Academy Awards live on April 25.

Here are the tracks making the shortlist this year:

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
Turntables, from All In: The Fight for Democracy, Janelle Monae
See What You’ve Done, from Belly of the Beast, Mary J. Blige
Wuhan Flu, from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Husavik, from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Never Break, from Giving Voice, John Legend
Make It Work, from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Fight For You, from Judas and the Black Messiah
lo Sì (Seen), from The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)
Rain Song, from Minari
Show Me Your Soul, from Mr. Soul!
Loyal Brave True, from Mulan, Christina Aguilera
Free, from The One and Only Ivan
Speak Now, from One Night in Miami
Green, from Sound of Metal
Hear My Voice, from The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Salma Hayek’s Ventanarosa Productions Developing HBO Max Series Based on Leslie Lehr’s Book “A Boob’s Life”

Salma Hayek is putting the boob in boob tube…

The 54-year-old Mexican actress/producer’s Ventanarosa Productions is helping develop Leslie Lehr’s book A Boob’s Life as a series for HBO Max.

Salma Hayek

The project marks the first project they’ll develop under their new first-look deal with the company.

A Boob’s Life is a half hour comedy about Leslie, a woman turning 40 and in crisis, whose life gets turned upside down when her boobs start talking to her, forcing her to look at herself in a completely different light. The show blows open the reality of life in a female body in a culture that is obsessed with breasts.

The series will be based off Lehr’s book A Boob’s Life: How America’s Obsession Shaped Meand You, which is being released on March 2 by Pegasus Books. Lehr will also serve as an executive producer.

Hayek will executive produce alongside Jose Tamez and Siobhan Flynn under their Ventanarosa Productions banner.

Cynthia Mort, who created and produced the HBO series Tell Me You Love Me, will write and serve as showrunner and executive producer for the series.

“We are so appreciative that HBO Max was insightful and bold enough to develop this show with us,” said Hayek. “In A Boob’s Life, we use breasts as a metaphor for the constant judgement women are submitted to, creating a collective sensation that no matter what we do we are never enough. In this show, we give the breast a voice that takes us through the life of a woman from a unique perspective that often we don’t dare to see.”

Ventanarosa Productions was founded by Hayek in 1998. The company’s highlights include Frida, which won two Academy Awards, The Maldonado MiracleUgly Betty and Kahlil Gibran’s animated film The Prophet. Other credits include the recently announced Santa Evita at Fox Latin America and Netflix’s Monarca, which recently released its second season.

Javier Bardem In Talks to Portray Desi Arnaz in Amazon & Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos”

Javier Bardem may soon be saying, “Lucy, I’m Home!”

The 51-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actor is in talks to play Desi Arnaz opposite Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in Amazon and Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos.

Javier Bardem

The film centers on the relationship between the I Love Lucy stars. Having penned the screenplay, Academy Award winner Sorkin also will direct the film from Amazon Studios and Escape Artists.

The film is set during one production week of I Love Lucy — Monday table read through Friday audience filming— when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.

Sorkin originally was going to pen the script only, when Cate Blanchett was circling, but after enjoying himself on the drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, he decided to attach himself as a director as well over the summer.

After The Trial of the Chicago 7 bowed on Netflix in October, Being the Ricardos began to gain momentum with Kidman and Bardem quickly interested in the couple behind television’s first family. Deals still need to close for both actors, but even if and when they do, when production will start is still up in the air as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push productions throughout the country.

After years as one of Hollywood’s most prolific screenwriters with such classics as A Few Good Men, Moneyball and his Oscar-winning The Social NetworkSorkin has found himself more and more behind the camera as well. His directing debut was the drama Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, and he followed that up with The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Bardem most recently starred in The Roads Not Taken and can next be seen in Legendary’s DuneHe also is set to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid.

Universal Pictures & DreamWorks Animation Delay Release of Eva Longoria’s Animated Film “The Boss Baby: Family Business” to September 2021

Eva Longoria’s latest baby is being delayed…

Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation have announced plans to delay the release of the Alec Baldwin-led animated sequel, The Boss Baby: Family Business, featuring the 45-year-old Mexican American actress, by nearly six months.

Eva Longoria

The animated comedy has been moved from its planned March 26 release date to September 17, 2021.

Released in 2017, the original Boss Baby took in more than $520 million at the worldwide box office and was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature. The sequel follows the Templeton Brothers, Tim (voiced by James Marsden) and little brother Ted (the titular Boss Baby, voiced by Baldwin), who are now all grown up and have grown apart.

Longoria, Jeff Goldblum and Ariana Greenblatt round out the film’s main cast, with Amy Sedaris voicing Tina (Tim’s daughter and the new boss baby in town).

Filmmaker Tom McGrath returns to direct, with Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel also reprising their roles as Ted and Tim’s parents.

Cristina Gallego Signs with Verve for Representation in All Areas

Cristina Gallego is going global…

Verve has signed the Colombian filmmaker, and will rep her in all areas as she moves to widen her reach and continue her passion for telling untold stories from a female perspective.

Cristina Gallego

Gallego co-directed Birds of Passage, which premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, was selected as the Colombian entry and made the shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. The film is not a traditional Colombian drug-running story; it follows the journey of a Wayuu Indian family as they forego their traditions and fall into the drug trade.

Gallego was at the forefront of the creative process and wanted to subvert the genre that has typically been very macho by focusing on stories from the female members of the family and community. She directed the film with Ciro Guerra, her ex-husband; she produced the acclaimed 2015 film Embrace of the Serpent, which Guerra directed and which landed them their first foreign-language Oscar nomination. It was the first Colombian film to be nominated in the category. That led to Birds of Passage, a 10-year journey.

Most recently Gallego was in production on Cortes, a massive event miniseries for Amazon that she was executive producing and attached to direct multiple episodes of. Written by Steve Zaillian and starring Javier Bardem, this project was unfortunately a COVID-19 casualty and was shut down by the streamer back in September.

Gallego’s other producing credits include Wajib, the Palestinian official submission to the 90th Academy Awards and Ruben Blades is Not My Name, Panama’s submission to the 91st Academy Awards.

Library of Congress Adds “Buena Vista Social Club” Documentary to National Film Registry

The story of the Buena Vista Social Club’s effort to revive the music of pre-revolutionary Cuba is being celebrated.

The Library of Congress has unveiled its annual list of 25 movies to make the cut for the National Film Registry, with the documentary named after the ensemble of Cuban musicians, Buena Vista Social Club, making the cut.

Buena Vista Social Club

The Buena Vista Social Club project was organized by World Circuit executive Nick Gold, produced by American guitarist Ry Cooder and directed by Juan de Marcos González. They named the group after the homonymous members’ club in the Buenavista quarter of Havana, a popular music venue in the 1940s. To showcase the popular styles of the time, such as sonbolero and danzón, they recruited a dozen veteran musicians, many of whom had been retired for many years.

Wim Wenders captured the performance on film for a documentary that included interviews with the musicians conducted in Havana. The film was released in June 1999 to critical acclaim, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards.

Lourdes Portillo’s The Devil Never Sleeps is part of a record number of films directed by women that make the list this year.

The 76-year-old Mexican film director’s mystery/documentary centers on Oscar, who is found dead from a gunshot wound. His wife believes he committed suicide. But his nephew, Portillo, suspects that it was murder and investigates the death with no help from the authorities.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said, “With the inclusion of diverse filmmakers, we are not trying to set records but rather to set the record straight by spotlighting the astonishing contributions women and people of color have made to American cinema, despite facing often-overwhelming hurdles.”

This year’s list brings the number of films selected for preservation in the registry to 800.

Turner Classic Movies will host a television special from 8:00 pm ET on December. 15 to screen a selection of motion pictures named to the registry. Among the films to air are The Battle of the Century, Lilies of the Field, Illusions, The Joy Luck Club, Cabin in the Sky and The Man with the Golden Arm.

Here’s the full rundown of this year’s additions:

The Battle Of The Century (1927)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Bread (1918)
Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
Cabin In The Sky (1943)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Devil Never Sleeps (1994)
Freedom Riders (2010)
Grease (1978)
The Ground (1993-2001)
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Illusions (1982)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Kid Auto Races At Venice (1914)
Lilies Of The Field (1963)
Losing Ground (1982)
The Man With the Golden Arm (1955)
Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege (2006)
Outrage (1950)
Shrek (2001)
Suspense (1913)
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
Wattstax (1973)
With Car And Camera Around The World (1929)

Marina de Tavira to Star in Spanish-Language Crime Drama Series “Kolonie”

Marina de Tavira is heading to the scene of the crime…

The 46-year-old Mexican actress, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her work in Alfonso Cuaron’s Netflix Spanish-language film Roma, will star in the Spanish-language crime drama series Kolonie.

Marina de Tavira

The project is in development between Narcos producer Gaumont and Redrum, which has worked on series including Narcos: Mexico and Amazon’s international drug thriller Zerozerozero.

Written by Carlos Rincones, who wrote on Netflix’s Mexican drama Tijuana, the series centers around an emotionally complex seasoned special agent, Adriana, played by de Tavira, who is tasked with investigating the brutal murder of a Mennonite boy in rural Chihuaua, Mexico. Once there, she partners with a rookie local policeman who recently abandoned the Mennonite community to join the police force. As they inch closer to solving the crime, they slowly uncover the justice they pursue is mired in a dark web of corruption and mysticism that extends beyond anything they could have ever imagined.

The series will be shot in Mexico with Redrum’s Stacy Perskie executive producing and Christian Gabela serving as head creative executive.

“Led by Gaumont’s Christian Gabela and his team, we are proud to develop Kolonie with our valued partner, Redrum, and are honored to have Marina de Tavira, one of the most talented actresses of today, star in the series,” said Nicolas Atlan, President, Gaumont U.S. “At Gaumont we take pride in producing important, local stories that resonate on a global scale, and we can’t wait to bring this riveting story to life.”

Perskie added, “We feel the Mennonite communities in Northern Mexico are a fascinating and unexplored part of our culture and telling a great story with a powerful female lead in that world is something that we are very excited about. We feel very lucky about having Marina de Tavira, one of the most emblematic Mexican actresses of our time, play that role and spearhead this project, which will shed light upon one of Mexico’s hidden corners.”

de Tavira earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod for playing Sofia in Roma and is also set to star in Lisa Joy’s Reminiscence alongside Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson and Thandie Newton.

 

Paco Leon to Star in the Spanish Psychological Thriller “From the Shadows”

Paco Leon is heading into the Shadows

The 46-year-old Spanish actor will star opposite Leonor Watling in psychological thriller From the Shadows (Desde la Sombra), a film adaptation by Spanish writer Juan José Millas, winner of most of Spain’s foremost literary awards, including the Planeta, Nadal and National Narrative Awards.

Paco Leon

The film will be directed by Felix Viscarret

A star of sitcom Aida, a free-to-air television phenomenon from 2005-14, and most recently Netflix Mexico’s hit House of Flowers, Leon co-wrote and directed Arde Madrid, a Movistar Plus Rose d’Or winning original series.

Star of Pedro Almodovar’s Academy Award-winning Talk to Her, Watling confirmed her comic talents most recently in Movistar Plus’ excruciatingly discomforting Russian mob comedy Nasdrovia.

Produced by Academy Award winning Tornasol Media and co-produced by Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup, From the Shadows will be brought onto the international market at Ventana Sur by Latido Films.

Co-written by David Muñoz, From the Shadows turns on Damián who, to escape from his boss, hides in a massive antique wardrobe that is delivered to a middle-class home, inhabited by Lucia and Fede and their teenage daughter. A persistent fantasist – he imagines himself as a TV celebrity delivering candid interviews to prestigious journalists – Damián realizes that staying in the wardrobe gives him a chance to lead the normal life he has always missed.

He becomes the family’s guardian angel, doing the housework in its absence, as his hold on reality crumbles and Lucia, on anti-depressants, believes the wardrobe hides the specter of her dead brother.

“This story is a portrait of the madness, sometimes strange, sometimes comical, we all have: Dialogues we carry on with ourselves, how we fall in love, how we deny realities,” said Viscarret, saying he likes to dance between the comical and melancholic.

Championed by Fernando Trueba off the back of a notable short, Dreamers, Viscarret’s debut, Under the Stars, produced by Cristina Huete, confirmed his passion for bringing a human dimension to lost cause characters, which he aims to repeat in From the Shadows, he said.

“I like to fix my gaze on clumsy, hurt or humiliated characters who, generating compassion, struggle to make things better. Even if that fight is not successful, even if the final redemption – like in this case – is loaded with contradictions, it makes it all worthwhile.”

“Felix is one of Spain’s most talented young directors, he has a unique capacity of inventing worlds. In this case, the novel he adapts is from one of Spanish greatest living writers,” said Latido Films head Antonio Saura.

Saura added: “What is even more interesting, it is a great adaptation, that mixes humor and genre in a very intelligent way and, of course, the cast is brilliant!”

Mexico Enters Fernando Frías de la Parra’s “I’m No Longer Here” into International Feature Film Oscar Race

Fernando Frías de la Parra is representing…

The Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences has chosen the Mexican filmmaker’s I’m No Longer Here as Mexico’s official entry for the International Feature Film Oscar race.

Fernando Frías de la Parra

The film centers on the young leader (Juan Daniel Garcia Trevino) of a small Monterrey street gang from the Cholombiano subculture who longs for home after being forced to move to Jackson Heights, Queens, after an altercation with a local cartel. It premiered at the 2019 Morelia Film Festival, where it won Best Feature and was a selection of this year’s truncated Tribeca Film Festival.

The film received 10 Ariel Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and is Mexico’s official submission for Spain’s Goya Awards.

I'm No Longer Here

Netflix acquired worldwide rights back in 2018, and it bowed on the streamer on May 27.

“The news took me by surprise, and I am overwhelmed with happiness and excitement,” said Frias. “I am enormously grateful to the Academy and its members and the entire industry that has supported us, such as Netflix and IMCINE, but also to the people. The public has shown us that they are ready to connect with our stories here in Mexico. That fills me with pride.”

Mexico has seen nine film nominated for the Academy Awards’ International Feature race (it was formerly known as Outstanding Foreign-Language Feature) with films from the likes of Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro. It’s only one the top prize once, however, for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, also from Netflix, in 2018.