Bolivia has announced that Julia Vargas’ Sealed Cargo / Carga sellada will be the South American country's submission to the 89th Academy Awards in the foreign language film competition. The film, a co-production with Venezuela, stars Mexican actor Gustavo Sánchez Parra and Luis Bredow and premiered at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) where it won the Special Jury Prize.
Inspired by true events, a cargo of toxic waste from abroad is discovered in a small Bolivian village. The government decides to silence complaints by secretly moving the waste in an old steam train to be thrown across the Chilean border. An ambitious police captain, an old anarchist train conductor, three policemen and a runaway girl face illegal blockades and confrontations: people from other towns do not want the train with its poisonous cargo crossing their land. The three-day trip turns into three weeks. The press turns it into a media scandal. The government turns its back on the mission. The train and its passengers are abandoned to their fate in the Bolivian highlands.
Bolivia submitted its first film to the Academy Awards in 1995 and has submitted on and off since then but has yet to secure a nomination in the Foreign Language category.