Oscars: Meet This Year's Latin American Contenders

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A record-breaking 93 countries have submitted entries for the best international feature film competition (formerly known as best foreign-language film) at the 92nd edition of the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday. Of those 93 candidates, sixteen are from Latin America (including a Guatemalan film via Belgium) and vying to be included in the shortlist of ten, followed by a coveted nomination.

Check out this year’s Latin American hopefuls: 

ARGENTINA:  Heroic Losers  /  La odisea de los giles   A film by Sebastián Borensztein  Ricardo and Chino Darín come together for the first time as a father-son acting duo in  Heroic Losers , a heist dramedy that plays on the most basic human instinct: getting back what’s yours. With William Wyler's  How to Steal a Million  as a guide, Sebastián Borensztein ( Chinese Take-Away ) directs the Argentine hit at the local box office.  Set in Argentina in December 2001, the film follows a group of friends and neighbors pool together all of their savings to reactivate an agricultural cooperative and the economy of their small town. The day after they deposit the group's money in the bank, Argentina's banking system collapses, and they lose it all. But they soon find out that they are not only victims of the country's crisis, they have been scammed by an unscrupulous lawyer and bank manager who were poised to take advantage of the situation.  In a twist on the heist film, this small town group of everymen and women bands together and puts a plan into action to recover what’s rightfully theirs.

ARGENTINA: Heroic Losers / La odisea de los giles
A film by Sebastián Borensztein

Ricardo and Chino Darín come together for the first time as a father-son acting duo in Heroic Losers, a heist dramedy that plays on the most basic human instinct: getting back what’s yours. With William Wyler's How to Steal a Million as a guide, Sebastián Borensztein (Chinese Take-Away) directs the Argentine hit at the local box office.

Set in Argentina in December 2001, the film follows a group of friends and neighbors pool together all of their savings to reactivate an agricultural cooperative and the economy of their small town. The day after they deposit the group's money in the bank, Argentina's banking system collapses, and they lose it all. But they soon find out that they are not only victims of the country's crisis, they have been scammed by an unscrupulous lawyer and bank manager who were poised to take advantage of the situation.

In a twist on the heist film, this small town group of everymen and women bands together and puts a plan into action to recover what’s rightfully theirs.

BELGIUM:  Our Mothers  /  Nuestras madres   A film by César Díaz  In an interesting and surprising geopolitical twist, Belgium has selected the debut feature by Guatemalan-born director César Díaz. Winner of the Cámera d’Or at the last edition of the Cannes Film Festival,  Our Mothers  is a fiction features that looks at the horrors of genocide.  The film is set in contemporary Guatemala, as the whole country is immersed in the trial of the soldiers who sparked the civil war, and the victim statements come one after another. Ernesto is a young anthropologist working for the Forensic Foundation; his job is to identify the missing. One day, while hearing the account of an old woman, he thinks he has found a lead that might guide him to his father, a guerrillero who went missing during the war. Against his mother's wishes, he flings himself body and soul into the case, looking for truth and resilience.  The film has been acquired in the U.S. by Outsider Pictures with an expected theatrical release in early 2020.

BELGIUM: Our Mothers / Nuestras madres
A film by César Díaz

In an interesting and surprising geopolitical twist, Belgium has selected the debut feature by Guatemalan-born director César Díaz. Winner of the Cámera d’Or at the last edition of the Cannes Film Festival, Our Mothers is a fiction features that looks at the horrors of genocide.

The film is set in contemporary Guatemala, as the whole country is immersed in the trial of the soldiers who sparked the civil war, and the victim statements come one after another. Ernesto is a young anthropologist working for the Forensic Foundation; his job is to identify the missing. One day, while hearing the account of an old woman, he thinks he has found a lead that might guide him to his father, a guerrillero who went missing during the war. Against his mother's wishes, he flings himself body and soul into the case, looking for truth and resilience.

The film has been acquired in the U.S. by Outsider Pictures with an expected theatrical release in early 2020.

BOLIVIA:  Tu Me Manques   A film by Rodrigo Bellott  Winner of the Best Screenplay Award at the last edition of Outfest, the Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, Rodrigo Bellott’s  Tu Me Manques , is his own film adaptation of his stage play, which was a sensation in Bolivia few years ago.  Starring Argentine actor Oscar Martinez and Spanish actress and Almodóvar muse Rossy de Palma,  Tu Me Manques  is an emotional exploration of three men’s struggles to reconcile identity and heritage. Following his son Gabriel’s death, Jorge travels from conservative Bolivia to New York City to confront Gabriel’s boyfriend Sebastian. While the two battle over Jorge’s inability to accept his son, Sebastian channels his grief into a bold new play in honor of his lost love, in which Gabriel’s inner turmoil is transformed into an eye-popping gay fantasia.   Tu Me Manques  will have its New York premiere as closing night of New Fest: New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival later this month.

BOLIVIA: Tu Me Manques
A film by Rodrigo Bellott

Winner of the Best Screenplay Award at the last edition of Outfest, the Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, Rodrigo Bellott’s Tu Me Manques, is his own film adaptation of his stage play, which was a sensation in Bolivia few years ago.

Starring Argentine actor Oscar Martinez and Spanish actress and Almodóvar muse Rossy de Palma, Tu Me Manques is an emotional exploration of three men’s struggles to reconcile identity and heritage. Following his son Gabriel’s death, Jorge travels from conservative Bolivia to New York City to confront Gabriel’s boyfriend Sebastian. While the two battle over Jorge’s inability to accept his son, Sebastian channels his grief into a bold new play in honor of his lost love, in which Gabriel’s inner turmoil is transformed into an eye-popping gay fantasia.

Tu Me Manques will have its New York premiere as closing night of New Fest: New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival later this month.

CHILE:  Spider  /  Araña   A film by Andrés Wood  From Sundance Award-winning director Andrés Wood comes  Spider , a dark political thriller about the ambition of power. Through two different timelines, one set on the eve of the Chilean coup d'etat in 1973 and one in the present day,  Spider  explores the evolution of radical political activism as well as a dangerously charged love triangle.  Inés (22), Justo (28) and Gerardo (23), belong to a violent nationalist group that want to overthrow the Marxist government in the 70s. Amid the fervor of this conflict they find themselves wrapped up in a passionate love triangle and commit a political crime that separates them forever.  Forty years later, Gerardo appears. He is inspired, not only by revenge, but also by an obsession to revive the nationalist cause. The police catch him with an arsenal of weapons. Inés, today an influential businesswoman, will do whatever it takes to stop Gerardo from revealing her and her husband Justo’s past. But how can they erase the pulse of a political and sexual passion that still resonates today?

CHILE: Spider / Araña
A film by Andrés Wood

From Sundance Award-winning director Andrés Wood comes Spider, a dark political thriller about the ambition of power. Through two different timelines, one set on the eve of the Chilean coup d'etat in 1973 and one in the present day, Spider explores the evolution of radical political activism as well as a dangerously charged love triangle.

Inés (22), Justo (28) and Gerardo (23), belong to a violent nationalist group that want to overthrow the Marxist government in the 70s. Amid the fervor of this conflict they find themselves wrapped up in a passionate love triangle and commit a political crime that separates them forever.

Forty years later, Gerardo appears. He is inspired, not only by revenge, but also by an obsession to revive the nationalist cause. The police catch him with an arsenal of weapons. Inés, today an influential businesswoman, will do whatever it takes to stop Gerardo from revealing her and her husband Justo’s past. But how can they erase the pulse of a political and sexual passion that still resonates today?

BRAZIL:  The   Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão / A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão   A film by Karim Aïnouz  Winner of the top prize for Best Film in the Un Certain Regard competition at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival, Karim Aïnouz’s  The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão  /  A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão  has been selected as Brazil’s Oscar candidate.  Billed as a ‘tropical melodrama,’  The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão  is set in Rio de Janeiro in 1950 and follows Euridice, 18 and Guida, 20, two inseparable sisters. They live at home, and each has a dream: becoming a renowned pianist, or finding true love. Because of their father, they are forced to live without one another. Separated, they will take control of their destiny, while never giving up on their hope of being reunited. The film has been acquired for U.S. distribution by Amazon.

BRAZIL: The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão / A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão
A film by Karim Aïnouz

Winner of the top prize for Best Film in the Un Certain Regard competition at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival, Karim Aïnouz’s The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão / A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão has been selected as Brazil’s Oscar candidate.

Billed as a ‘tropical melodrama,’ The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão is set in Rio de Janeiro in 1950 and follows Euridice, 18 and Guida, 20, two inseparable sisters. They live at home, and each has a dream: becoming a renowned pianist, or finding true love. Because of their father, they are forced to live without one another. Separated, they will take control of their destiny, while never giving up on their hope of being reunited. The film has been acquired for U.S. distribution by Amazon.

COLOMBIA:  Monos   A film by Alejandro Landes   Monos , Alejandro Landes’ awe-inspiring third feature, is a breathtaking survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America. The film tracks a young group of soldiers and rebels—bearing names like Rambo, Smurf, Bigfoot, Wolf and Boom-Boom—who keep watch over an American hostage, Doctora (Julianne Nicholson). The teenage commandos perform military training exercises by day and indulge in youthful hedonism by night, an unconventional family bound together under a shadowy force known only as The Organization. After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, both the mission and the intricate bonds between the group begin to disintegrate. Order descends into chaos and within  Monos  the strong begin to prey on the weak in this vivid, cautionary fever-dream.  With a rapturous score by Mica Levi, director Landes examines the chaos and absurdity of war from the unique perspective of adolescence, recalling  Lord of the Flies  and  Beau Travail  in a way that feels wholly original. Landes brings together a diverse young cast of both seasoned professionals (including  Hannah Montana 's Moisés Arias) and untrained neophytes and thrusts them into an unforgiving, irrational and often surreal environment where anything can happen—even peace.  Monos  is currently playing in U.S. theaters with a good success, and distributed by Neon.

COLOMBIA: Monos
A film by Alejandro Landes

Monos, Alejandro Landes’ awe-inspiring third feature, is a breathtaking survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America. The film tracks a young group of soldiers and rebels—bearing names like Rambo, Smurf, Bigfoot, Wolf and Boom-Boom—who keep watch over an American hostage, Doctora (Julianne Nicholson). The teenage commandos perform military training exercises by day and indulge in youthful hedonism by night, an unconventional family bound together under a shadowy force known only as The Organization. After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, both the mission and the intricate bonds between the group begin to disintegrate. Order descends into chaos and within Monos the strong begin to prey on the weak in this vivid, cautionary fever-dream.

With a rapturous score by Mica Levi, director Landes examines the chaos and absurdity of war from the unique perspective of adolescence, recalling Lord of the Flies and Beau Travail in a way that feels wholly original. Landes brings together a diverse young cast of both seasoned professionals (including Hannah Montana's Moisés Arias) and untrained neophytes and thrusts them into an unforgiving, irrational and often surreal environment where anything can happen—even peace. Monos is currently playing in U.S. theaters with a good success, and distributed by Neon.

COSTA RICA:  The Awakening of the Ants  /  El despertar de las hormigas   A film by Antonella Sudasassi  Antonella Sudasassi’s debut feature is a subtle, arresting portrait of a young woman's emancipation, Isa (Daniella Valenciano) lives with her husband Alcides (Leynar Gomez) and their two young daughters in a small Costa Rican town, surrounded by loving family and friends. But when Alcides begins to pressure Isa to have a third child—a son—her world slowly begins to unravel.  The idea of cutting back on her burgeoning dressmaking business to allow her to care for another child is not something Isa relishes, but her concern seems to float right over Alcides' head. As her feelings of desperation intensify, Isa takes fate into her own hands. Mixing naturalistic details of family life with surreal flourishes,  The Awakening of the Ants  compassionately charts Isa's determined journey to carve her own path.

COSTA RICA: The Awakening of the Ants / El despertar de las hormigas
A film by Antonella Sudasassi

Antonella Sudasassi’s debut feature is a subtle, arresting portrait of a young woman's emancipation, Isa (Daniella Valenciano) lives with her husband Alcides (Leynar Gomez) and their two young daughters in a small Costa Rican town, surrounded by loving family and friends. But when Alcides begins to pressure Isa to have a third child—a son—her world slowly begins to unravel.

The idea of cutting back on her burgeoning dressmaking business to allow her to care for another child is not something Isa relishes, but her concern seems to float right over Alcides' head. As her feelings of desperation intensify, Isa takes fate into her own hands. Mixing naturalistic details of family life with surreal flourishes, The Awakening of the Ants compassionately charts Isa's determined journey to carve her own path.

CUBA:  A Translator  /  Un traductor   A film by Rodrigo Barriuso and Sebastián Barriuso  Rooted in the little-known true story of how twenty thousand Chernobyl victims were eventually treated in Cuba,  A Translator  unfolds as a tale at once historical and personal, brought to life in crisply shot, beautifully realized period detail of a Havana on the brink of economic crisis.  Set in Havana in 1989, the film follows Russian literature professor Malin, who receives a mysterious note at the university with orders from the government sending him to a local hospital, where he learns he is expected to act as translator between Cuban doctors and the families of young patients from the Chernobyl disaster. Initially raging against his new role, Malin is forced to stay on and eventually becomes deeply devoted to his patients. But while he becomes “king of the kids” at the hospital, his relationships with his pregnant wife and young son suffer. Meanwhile, life around all of them shifts as the “Special Period”—the economic crisis in Cuba that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union—begins.

CUBA: A Translator / Un traductor
A film by Rodrigo Barriuso and Sebastián Barriuso

Rooted in the little-known true story of how twenty thousand Chernobyl victims were eventually treated in Cuba, A Translator unfolds as a tale at once historical and personal, brought to life in crisply shot, beautifully realized period detail of a Havana on the brink of economic crisis.

Set in Havana in 1989, the film follows Russian literature professor Malin, who receives a mysterious note at the university with orders from the government sending him to a local hospital, where he learns he is expected to act as translator between Cuban doctors and the families of young patients from the Chernobyl disaster. Initially raging against his new role, Malin is forced to stay on and eventually becomes deeply devoted to his patients. But while he becomes “king of the kids” at the hospital, his relationships with his pregnant wife and young son suffer. Meanwhile, life around all of them shifts as the “Special Period”—the economic crisis in Cuba that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union—begins.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:  The Projectionist  /  El proyeccionista   A film by José María Cabral  Young and prolific filmmaker José María Cabral will represent the Caribbean island at the Oscars for the third time (after  Jacque Mate  in 2012 and  Woodpeckers  in 2017. Cabral’s seventh feature film had its world premiere at the last edition of the Miami Film Festival.  In  The Projectionist , Eliseo is confined to live his existence infatuated with a woman who is present only through a projected film reel. On an eventful night, the reels are damaged and Eliseo is left completely devoid of any connection with his beloved projection. In this new existence, he is plunged into a search for the real identity of the woman he so passionately and lustfully loved for so many years but in order to accomplish this journey he must appeal to all he knows, project movies, in the most remote and poorest areas in the Dominican Republic, accompanied by a free-spirited girl that will show him that blood is thicker than water in more ways than one.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: The Projectionist / El proyeccionista
A film by José María Cabral

Young and prolific filmmaker José María Cabral will represent the Caribbean island at the Oscars for the third time (after Jacque Mate in 2012 and Woodpeckers in 2017. Cabral’s seventh feature film had its world premiere at the last edition of the Miami Film Festival.

In The Projectionist, Eliseo is confined to live his existence infatuated with a woman who is present only through a projected film reel. On an eventful night, the reels are damaged and Eliseo is left completely devoid of any connection with his beloved projection. In this new existence, he is plunged into a search for the real identity of the woman he so passionately and lustfully loved for so many years but in order to accomplish this journey he must appeal to all he knows, project movies, in the most remote and poorest areas in the Dominican Republic, accompanied by a free-spirited girl that will show him that blood is thicker than water in more ways than one.

ECUADOR:  La Mala Noche   A film by Gabriela Calvache  Gabriela Calvache’s acclaimed debut feature  La Mala Noche  ( The Longest Night) , had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, and has successfully played at numerous international film festivals including Guadalajara, Edinburgh, and the HBO New York Latino Film Festival, where it won the Best International Feature Award.   The film follows Dana — a smart and beautiful woman forced to resort to prostitution in order to make a living — skillfully played by Colombian actress Nöelle Schönwald (Love in the Time of Cholera). Dana must deliver most of her income to a mafia boss who protects and exploits her. She's good at what she does, a job she landed by mistake, out of love.   Perhaps, if she behaves well enough, she may earn her freedom, but her daughter's illness and addiction to a pharmaceutical drug prevent her from reaching her goals. An unexpected incident gives her the opportunity to break free from her captor and seek justice with her own hands. A co-production between Calvache’s Cineática Films and Geminiano Pineda’s Cine Canibal of Mexico,  La Mala Noche i s a bold thriller that ultimately becomes a poignant female-centered indictment of human trafficking.

ECUADOR: La Mala Noche
A film by Gabriela Calvache

Gabriela Calvache’s acclaimed debut feature La Mala Noche (The Longest Night), had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, and has successfully played at numerous international film festivals including Guadalajara, Edinburgh, and the HBO New York Latino Film Festival, where it won the Best International Feature Award.

The film follows Dana — a smart and beautiful woman forced to resort to prostitution in order to make a living — skillfully played by Colombian actress Nöelle Schönwald (Love in the Time of Cholera). Dana must deliver most of her income to a mafia boss who protects and exploits her. She's good at what she does, a job she landed by mistake, out of love.

Perhaps, if she behaves well enough, she may earn her freedom, but her daughter's illness and addiction to a pharmaceutical drug prevent her from reaching her goals. An unexpected incident gives her the opportunity to break free from her captor and seek justice with her own hands. A co-production between Calvache’s Cineática Films and Geminiano Pineda’s Cine Canibal of Mexico, La Mala Noche is a bold thriller that ultimately becomes a poignant female-centered indictment of human trafficking.

HONDURAS:  Blood, Passion and Coffee  /  Café con sabor a mi tierra   A film by Carlos Membreño  Carlos Membreño’s  Blood, Passion and Coffee  marks the second Honduran Oscar candidate, after Hispano Durón’s  Morazan  in 2017. The film, inspired by real events, revolves around a coffee producing family (from Marcala, Honduras) in which their harvest is impacted by the plague of rust and low coffee prices. Trying to survive, migration will be one of the options to save their farm. But it will not be the biggest obstacle they will have to overcome, but also death will put them to the test and measure them to see if a strong family bond is unbreakable; showing the sacrifice, passion and faith that exists behind the cup of coffee consumed in the world.

HONDURAS: Blood, Passion and Coffee / Café con sabor a mi tierra
A film by Carlos Membreño

Carlos Membreño’s Blood, Passion and Coffee marks the second Honduran Oscar candidate, after Hispano Durón’s Morazan in 2017. The film, inspired by real events, revolves around a coffee producing family (from Marcala, Honduras) in which their harvest is impacted by the plague of rust and low coffee prices. Trying to survive, migration will be one of the options to save their farm. But it will not be the biggest obstacle they will have to overcome, but also death will put them to the test and measure them to see if a strong family bond is unbreakable; showing the sacrifice, passion and faith that exists behind the cup of coffee consumed in the world.

MEXICO:  The Chambermaid  /  La camarista   A film by Lila Avilés  One of the best reviewed films of the year—currently number three in Rotten Tomatoes’ list of best films of the year—Lila Avilés’ acclaimed debut feature is a poignant and delicate class portrait.  The Chambermaid  follows Eve — played by the wonderful Gabriela Cartol—a young chambermaid working in one of the most luxurious hotels in Mexico City, an exclusive glass tower inhabited by wealthy guests whose lives she imagines by their belongings left behind and their absences.  Long, laborious shifts prevent Eve from caring for her child as she helps guests with their own children, but she believes she can better her situation after she’s promoted to work at executive-level suites, for which she accepts a grueling schedule. In keeping with her desire to improve her lot, she simultaneously enrolls in the hotel’s adult education program.  An incipient friendship with her coworker and an awkward, silent flirtation with a window-washer prod her toward much needed bravery. When things don’t turn out as planned, Eve transforms her solitary explorations and newfound courage into the strength to face a life outside the high-class prison that’s entrapped her, breaking rules and discovering herself.  Inspired by Avilés’ theater play of the same name — in turn inspired by Sophie Calle’s 1980 artistic project “The Hotel,” in which the French artist worked as a chambermaid in a Venice hotel— The Chambermaid  is a standout among a thriving new generation of Mexican and Latin American female filmmakers. With impeccable cinematography, a near-documentary eye, and a humanistic gaze, the film signals Avilés as a talent to watch.

MEXICO: The Chambermaid / La camarista
A film by Lila Avilés

One of the best reviewed films of the year—currently number three in Rotten Tomatoes’ list of best films of the year—Lila Avilés’ acclaimed debut feature is a poignant and delicate class portrait. The Chambermaid follows Eve — played by the wonderful Gabriela Cartol—a young chambermaid working in one of the most luxurious hotels in Mexico City, an exclusive glass tower inhabited by wealthy guests whose lives she imagines by their belongings left behind and their absences.

Long, laborious shifts prevent Eve from caring for her child as she helps guests with their own children, but she believes she can better her situation after she’s promoted to work at executive-level suites, for which she accepts a grueling schedule. In keeping with her desire to improve her lot, she simultaneously enrolls in the hotel’s adult education program.

An incipient friendship with her coworker and an awkward, silent flirtation with a window-washer prod her toward much needed bravery. When things don’t turn out as planned, Eve transforms her solitary explorations and newfound courage into the strength to face a life outside the high-class prison that’s entrapped her, breaking rules and discovering herself.

Inspired by Avilés’ theater play of the same name — in turn inspired by Sophie Calle’s 1980 artistic project “The Hotel,” in which the French artist worked as a chambermaid in a Venice hotel—The Chambermaid is a standout among a thriving new generation of Mexican and Latin American female filmmakers. With impeccable cinematography, a near-documentary eye, and a humanistic gaze, the film signals Avilés as a talent to watch.

PERU:  Retablo   A film by Alvaro Delgado Aparicio   Retablo , the debut feature by Álvaro Delgado Aparicio, has been named the Peruvian candidate for the 92nd edition of the Academy Awards, with the aim of getting the second nomination for the South American nation since the 2009 film  The Milk of Sorrow  by Claudia Llosa.   Retablo , which had its world premiere at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival, tells the story of 14-year-old Segundo, who lives with his parents in a village high in the high mountains of Peru. His father Noé is a respected artist and Segundo’s role model. Noé hand-crafts altarpieces, decorated shrines for church and home, and is teaching Segundo the necessary skills to carry on in his footsteps. But cracks have developed in their close relationship because Noé is keeping a dark secret.  With brutal honesty and saturated colors, the film peeks behind the facade of a seemingly intact village community where homophobic attitudes enforced by patriarchal laws are carried out with remorseless violence. It sketches a visually powerful panorama of a world in which a young artist is searching for his niche.

PERU: Retablo
A film by Alvaro Delgado Aparicio

Retablo, the debut feature by Álvaro Delgado Aparicio, has been named the Peruvian candidate for the 92nd edition of the Academy Awards, with the aim of getting the second nomination for the South American nation since the 2009 film The Milk of Sorrow by Claudia Llosa.

Retablo, which had its world premiere at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival, tells the story of 14-year-old Segundo, who lives with his parents in a village high in the high mountains of Peru. His father Noé is a respected artist and Segundo’s role model. Noé hand-crafts altarpieces, decorated shrines for church and home, and is teaching Segundo the necessary skills to carry on in his footsteps. But cracks have developed in their close relationship because Noé is keeping a dark secret.

With brutal honesty and saturated colors, the film peeks behind the facade of a seemingly intact village community where homophobic attitudes enforced by patriarchal laws are carried out with remorseless violence. It sketches a visually powerful panorama of a world in which a young artist is searching for his niche.

PANAMA:  Everybody Changes / Todos cambiamos   A film by Arturo Montenegro  Panama was the first Latin American country to select its candidate for the international feature film competition at the 92nd edition of the Academy Awards. The Central American country has selected the drama  Everybody Changes  /  Todos cambiamos  by Arturo Montenegro as its contender.  Starring Gaby Gnazzo, Andrea Pérez Meana, Susan Elizabeth Castillo, Mónica Lola Díaz, and José Manuel Arispe, and shot in Panama and Thailand,  Everybody Changes  tells the story of Federico and Carol, parents of three children who ave a perfect home, but on their movie nights they share a secret called Lizzie. When this is discovered, it initiates a transformation that tests the strength and love of each family member.  This is the sixth Panamanian Oscar contender since the country first sent a candidate to the Oscars in 2014.

PANAMA: Everybody Changes / Todos cambiamos
A film by Arturo Montenegro

Panama was the first Latin American country to select its candidate for the international feature film competition at the 92nd edition of the Academy Awards. The Central American country has selected the drama Everybody Changes / Todos cambiamos by Arturo Montenegro as its contender.

Starring Gaby Gnazzo, Andrea Pérez Meana, Susan Elizabeth Castillo, Mónica Lola Díaz, and José Manuel Arispe, and shot in Panama and Thailand, Everybody Changes tells the story of Federico and Carol, parents of three children who ave a perfect home, but on their movie nights they share a secret called Lizzie. When this is discovered, it initiates a transformation that tests the strength and love of each family member.

This is the sixth Panamanian Oscar contender since the country first sent a candidate to the Oscars in 2014.

URUGUAY:  The Moneychanger  /  Así habló el cambista   A film by Federico Veiroj  Federico Veiroj ( The Apostate ) delivers a quirky period thriller set in Uruguay, ripe with mystery, love and deadpan humor that delves into the attractive world of capital flight. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last month, it played at the San Sebastian Film Festival, and is having its U.S. premiere this week as part of the New York Film Festival.  In the mid-70s, the regional economy drew a lot of scoundrels into Uruguay. Institutions were bankrupted; there was a military government; the subversives were behind bars and, for certain sections of the Brazilian and Argentinian economies with a low reputation, the Uruguayan financial market seemed like an ideal place to make money disappear.  This is when Humberto Brause begins a meteoric race in the buying and selling of foreign currency, sponsored by his own father-in-law, a veteran in the business of capital flight. But blinded by his excessive ambition, Humberto tramples everything and everyone in his path until he’s gotten his hands on the family business and accepts a suspicious assignment: laundering the largest sum of money he has ever seen.

URUGUAY: The Moneychanger / Así habló el cambista
A film by Federico Veiroj

Federico Veiroj (The Apostate) delivers a quirky period thriller set in Uruguay, ripe with mystery, love and deadpan humor that delves into the attractive world of capital flight. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last month, it played at the San Sebastian Film Festival, and is having its U.S. premiere this week as part of the New York Film Festival.

In the mid-70s, the regional economy drew a lot of scoundrels into Uruguay. Institutions were bankrupted; there was a military government; the subversives were behind bars and, for certain sections of the Brazilian and Argentinian economies with a low reputation, the Uruguayan financial market seemed like an ideal place to make money disappear.

This is when Humberto Brause begins a meteoric race in the buying and selling of foreign currency, sponsored by his own father-in-law, a veteran in the business of capital flight. But blinded by his excessive ambition, Humberto tramples everything and everyone in his path until he’s gotten his hands on the family business and accepts a suspicious assignment: laundering the largest sum of money he has ever seen.


VENEZUELA:  Being Impossible  /  Yo, imposible   A film by Patricia Ortega  The second film by Patricia Ortega follows Ariel, a young pious dressmaker whose first sexual encounter proves an extremely painful experience. Suspicion arises that something strange happens with her body. She discovers that she was born with ambiguous genitalia and that she underwent several surgeries to be turned into a woman. This truth immerses her in the path to find forgiveness and freedom.

VENEZUELA: Being Impossible / Yo, imposible
A film by Patricia Ortega

The second film by Patricia Ortega follows Ariel, a young pious dressmaker whose first sexual encounter proves an extremely painful experience. Suspicion arises that something strange happens with her body. She discovers that she was born with ambiguous genitalia and that she underwent several surgeries to be turned into a woman. This truth immerses her in the path to find forgiveness and freedom.