Wednesday, September 28

Strengths and weaknesses of the Spanish candidates who will fight for the Oscar

2022 will be remembered as one of the best for Spanish cinema. A new generation of producers, directors and directors have achieved a unique harvest. The high level of the films in this course is evident when viewing the list of films chosen by the Film Academy to fight to represent Spain at the Oscars in the category of Best International Film.

Three films that have been at international festivals, two of them directed by a woman and the other by one of the great talents of recent Spanish cinema. A rural thriller and two intimate dramas. One spoken in Catalan, another with dialogues in Basque and the other with parts in Galician and French. Diverse and original cinema to represent Spain. Now it’s time to fight each other in a new vote of which only one will remain. Alcarras, five wolves Y Ace Bestas measure their strength in a year where anything can happen. These are the pros and cons of each of the options.



It is the Spanish film that has had the most international impact this year. In his favor is the historic Golden Bear of Carla Simón. The Academy tends to look at the big international festivals, and other award winners like In body and soul, Nader and Simin either the scared tit they achieved an Oscar nomination starting their career in Berlin. The foreign press has already seen Alcarràs and the reactions have been unanimous. That is the main asset of the film.

In addition, the film has guaranteed international distribution. In the US it will come from the hand of Mubi, and in other countries such as Germany it has already been released. The film has an international tour that will continue at the New York Film Festival, a contest with a very limited selection for a select few and is among the 30 shortlisted for the European film awards. Carla Simón will present the film, ensuring an impact in the US that other Spanish titles are not guaranteed. All previous pools of Oscar gurus have her as one of her favorites and even as a nominee.


The theme of the film may be too local for the Hollywood Academy, which may see the struggle of some farmers to defend their land and their way of life as too alien. It is not a radical and different bet, but the empathy that the film arouses can break its localism and turn the story of the Solé family into a universal one. On the contrary, it also has a cast without any familiar faces and full of actors who are making their debut on the big screen. An actress or an actor with an international name always acts as an ambassador abroad.

five wolves


It is the great covered and many believe that it can give the surprise on September 13. Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s film has a great asset in its favour: Pedro Almodóvar. The Spanish director usually says publicly when a film excites him. He did it years ago with Magic Girl, by Carlos Vermut, and has done so this year with five wolves. His support is important, since he is the Spanish director who is revered in Hollywood. He would be a great ambassador for the arrival of the film. Another asset is his tour of international festivals, where he always leaves a good taste in the mouth, as well as the presence of Laia Costa. The Catalan actress, immense in the film, has participated in international series such as soulmates and movies likeor Victoria, Life itself either Only you. Also in favor of the experience of three of its producers who already know what it means to be nominated for an Oscar with titles like the mole agent either The impossible and the tour of international festivals with which they want to reach the international voter, increasingly important in the voting for the Oscars.


five wolves It is a smaller and less ambitious film than those that usually sneak into the final nominees. It does not yet have a closed distribution in the US, which makes it difficult to launch a major campaign in the US, which is key to reaching academics, although it is looking for a ‘home’ there with an international sales agent. It lacks an international push to place it among the favorites. Hollywood academics usually tend to choose established names or award winners in international competitions, and the condition of a debut film five wolves can play against you. It is also the only one of the three films that has not passed the first cut of the European film awards, which may give a clue that outside of Spain it does not work as well as it does here.

Ace Bestas


Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s film had the best possible baptism. It was presented at the most prestigious festival in the world, Cannes, and the event’s director himself hinted that it had not entered the Official Section as it had been seen too late. A milestone for a Spanish film that places it very well in the international market. In addition, it has already been released in France and has more than 300,000 spectators, a powerful figure that shows that it is having good word of mouth at the French box office. Its presence in the first cut of the candidates for the European film awards demonstrates its solidity. Sorogoyen is one of the directors who has had the most international projection in recent years, and his films have traveled and have even been in international competitions. Also, he is not a stranger to the Hollywood Academy, since his short film, Motherwas nominated for an Oscar.


The film has not been released in Spain, and they have to convince the Academics to see the film and choose it over some competitors that have been in theaters for months. His late debut can play against him in the internal election. On an international level, it lacks a distributor in the US that strongly promotes the film there. A campaign costs money, and without the support of a good travel companion it is difficult to achieve the candidacy. Its structure with touches of thriller does not help either, since it is usually a genre that is not found much among the Oscar nominees for Best International Film.