Chile has announced today that Sebastián Lelio's fifth feature film A Fantastic Woman / Una mujer fantástica has been selected as the Oscar contender for the South American country. This marks the second time that a film by Lelio will represent Chile at the Oscars after Gloria in 2014, which failed to be nominated even if it was one of the favorite candidate that year.
A Fantastic Woman had its world premiere last February at the Berlin Film Festival where it was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay as well as the Teddy Award for Best LGBT Film. Starring Daniela Vega, the film follows Marina, a young trans woman who works as a waitress and is an aspiring singer. She loves Orlando, a man 20 years older than her, who suddenly dies and, Marina's forced to fight suspicion. Orlando's family don't trust her and see her sexual identity as an aberration and a perversion. Marina battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now—a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.
The film, which recently played at the Telluride Film Festival and is now playing at the Toronto Film Festival, will be released in U.S. screens this November by Sony Pictures Classics. The film was co-produced by filmmakers Pablo Larraín and Juan de Dios Larraín, whose films have been selected to represent Chile at the Oscars four times: Tony Manero in 2008, No in 2012, The Club in 2015, and Neruda last year. No became the first Oscar nomination for Chile, since the country started submitting films to the Academy Awards in 1990.