Colombia Nabs First Foreign Language Film Nom

El abrazo de la serpiente / Embrace of the Serpent (pictured), the third feature film by Ciro Guerra, became this morning the first Colombian to ever been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in the Academy Awards.

Colombia has been submitting Oscar candidates since 1980, when The Latin Immigrant / El Inmigrante latino by Gustavo Nieto Roa became the first Colombian submission for the 53rd edition of the Academy Awards.

Embrace of the Serpent had its world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival last May where it won the top prize. It tells the story of Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman, who works with two scientists for 40 years while searching the rainforest for a sacred healing plant.

The Colombian picture is competing against A War by Tobias Lindholm from Denmark, Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven from France, Son of Saul by László Nemes from Hungary, which is the top contender, and Theeb by Naji Abu Nowar from Jordan.

Embrace of the Serpent opens February 17 at Film Forum in New York City, followed by a limited release in other cities after February 19, distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories.