Venezuela has selected Ignacio Castillo Cottin's biopic El Inca as its contender in the foreign-language film category for the 90th edition of the Academy Awards. The film was pulled out from Venezuela theaters by a local court during a successful theatrical run last December , marking "the first time that a local film has ever been censored in Venezuela," according to the filmmaker.
The second feature film by Castillo Cottin, a graduate of the University of Southern California, is based on the story of undefeated two-time World Boxing Champion Edwin Valero, aka El Inca. The tragic biographical drama is about talent and charisma, love and ambition, excess and self-destruction.
The local court suspended the screening of the film after the heirs of the late boxer secured an injunction, citing defamation and an invasion of privacy. The production team filed an appeal last April to fight the court decision, which they won, and the film was rereleased on June 16. Yet, the Supreme Court took the case and removed it from theaters for a second time just four days into its rerelease. After more than two months, the producers are still currently waiting for a hearing date and El Inca is still currently banned in Venezuela.
The film was selected as the Venezuela's Oscar candidate among 17 candidates by a commission coordinated by the National Association of Cinematographic Authors (Asociación Nacional de Autores Cinematográficos, ANAC).
Venezuela submitted an Oscar candidate for the first time in 1978. The closest that the South American country has been to earning an nomination was in 2014 when Alberto Arvelo's Simón Bolívar biopic The Liberator made it to the shortlist.
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