[October 2, 2012 Update] Uruguay announced it has selected Rodrigo Plá's La Demora (a co-production film with Mexico and France) to represent the country in the Foreign Language category for the Oscars. The third feature film by Plá, starring Carlos Vallarino and Roxana Blanco, is a study of a single-mother and his aging, dangerously forgetful father, whose presence in her cramped home is driving her to desperate measures.
[September 28, 2012 Update] Argentina has selected Benjamín Ávila's Infancia clandestina / Clandestine Childhood as its Oscar entry for this year. Produced by filmmaker Luis Puenzo, the film screened at Cannes' Directors' Fortnight, and has been acquired for US distribution by Film Movement for a November release. Set in Argentina in 1979, the film shows the hidden lives of political militants during the Argentine dictatorship through the eyes of a 12 year-old boy that has just returned from exile with his family. Ávila's debut feature film is largely based on his own personal story.
[September 26, 2012 Update] Peru announced today that Rosario García-Montero's debut feature Las malas intenciones / The Bad Intentions will represent the country in the Oscar's Foreign Language category. The film, a coming of age tale set in the convoluted Lima in the 1980s, tells the story of eight-year-old Cayetana who is captivated by reports of guerrilla attacks and fascinated with the lives and deaths of the heroes of Peruvian independence. On more related news, Argentina will announce its candidate film this Friday, September 28.
A handful of Latin American countries have already selected their official submissions for the Foreign Language Film category for the 85th edition of the Academy Awards which will take place on February 24, 2013. So far Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Venezuela, have announced the films that will be representing each country for the Oscars.
Brazil has selected O Palhaço / The Clown, a charming, light-hearted dramedy co-written and directed by lead actor Selton Mello. The film tells the story of the father/son clown duo of Pangaré and Puro Sangue who work in a traveling circus in the Brazilian countryside.
Chile is submitting No the newest film by Pablo Larraín which stars Mexican actor Gael García Bernal and was the winner of the top prize in this year's Directors' Fortnight at Cannes. The film tells the fictionalized story of René Saavedra, an ad man who designs the marketing campaign to take dictator Augusto Pinochet out of power in the 1988 national plebiscite.
Colombia has opted for Carlos Moreno's drug crime thriller El Cartel de los Sapos / The Cartel of Snitches which stars Manolo Cardona, Tom Sizemore, Juana Acosta and Kuno Becker. The third film by Moreno (Perro come perro, Todos tus muertos) is based on the life story of former drug trafficker Andrés López who adapted his memoir into a telenovela and co-wrote the film's screenplay.
Jaque mate / Checkmate by José María Cabral is the Dominican Republic's candidate which is the fourth film ever that the Caribbean nation has submitted to the Oscars. The film was selected out of 10 contenders, which marks a local record. Cabral's film is about a TV host who receives a call from his family's kidnappers while he's on air. Mexico has selected Michel Franco's Después de Lucía / After Lucía which won the top prize at Cannes' Un Certain Regard section. The film follows the young Lucía, who just moved to town with her dad. She is new at school and becomes a victim of bullying by his new classmates.
Last, but not least, Venezuela has announced that Hernán Jabes' drama Piedra, papel o tijera / Rock, Paper Scissors will be representing the South American country.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for Best Foreign-Language Film on January 10. The last Latin American film to have won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film was Juan José Campanella's El secreto de sus ojos / The Secret in their Eyes in 2009.