Sebastián Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman” Makes Oscars Shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film

Sebastián Lelio is one step closer to a special date with Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has whittled through 92 submissions to come up with its shortlist of nine titles to advance in the Best Foreign Language Film category this year, with the 43-year-old Argentinian-born Chilean filmmaker still in the running.

Sebastián Lelio

Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, Chile’s pick to enter the race for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, joins other favorites like Ruben Ostlund’s The Square (Sweden) and Loveless from Russia’s Andrey Zvyagintsev in advancing to the next round.

Each of those was nominated for a Golden Globe earlier this week. As was Fatih Akin’s Germany terrorism drama In The Fade, which has seen its street cred solidified by the Academy with tonight’s shortlist inclusion.

The final five Academy Award nominations in the race will be announced along with the rest of the categories on January 23.

Films also making the cut include Berlinale Golden Bear winner On Body And Soul from resurgent Turkish director Ildikó Enyedi; and Venice favorites Foxtrot, from Israel’s Samuel Maoz, and The Insult by Franco-Lebanese helmer Ziad Doueiri.

The last Spanish-language film to earn a nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category was Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent (representing Colombia) in 2015.

The Last Spanish-language film to win the Oscar in the category was Juan José Campanella’s The Secret in Their Eyes (representing Argentina) in 2009. 

In 2012, Chile earned its first and only Oscar nomination in the category with Pablo Larrain’s No, which starred Gael Garcia Bernal.

Here’s this year’s complete shortlist:

Chile, A Fantastic Woman, Sebastián Lelio, director;
Germany, In the Fade, Fatih Akin, director;
Hungary, On Body and Soul, Ildikó Enyedi, director;
Israel, Foxtrot, Samuel Maoz, director;
Lebanon, The Insult, Ziad Doueiri, dirctor;
Russia, Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev, director;
Senegal, Félicité, Alain Gomis, director;
South Africa, The Wound, John Trengove, director;
Sweden, The Square, Ruben Östlund, director.

Luna to Serve on Un Certain Regard Jury Panel at This Year’s Cannes Film Festival

Diego Luna is ready to judge…

The 36-year-old Mexican actor, director and producer will serve as a judge on the Un Certain Regard panel at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Diego Luna

Swiss actress Marthe Keller will act as president of the panel, with French actress Céline Sallette and Swedish director Ruben Ostlund joining Luna.

Ostlund’s 2014 existential drama Force Majeure notably won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize that year and went on to earn BAFTA, BIFA and Golden Globe nominations. Luna is in this year’s Blood Father which has a Midnight Screening berth at Cannes. There are 18 films in UCR; prizes will be awarded May 21.

Meanwhile, Argentine director-playwright-writer Santiago Loza will serve as a member of the jury panel for the Short Films and Cinéfondation, alongside president Naomi Kawase, actress Marie-Josée Croze, director/screenwriters Jean-Marie Larrieu and Radu Muntean.

They will award prizes on May 20 for three of the 18 student films shown as part of the Cinéfondation selection. And they will also decide the Short Film Palme d’Or winner who will be named at the main closing-night ceremony.