Venezuela has become the first Latin American country to announce its Academy Awards candidate for Best Foreign Language Film category and this year the South American country will be represented by Lorenzo Vigas' debut feature Desde allá / From Afar, which became the first Latin American production to ever win the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
The film—distributed in the U.S. by Strand Releasing—tells the story of wealthy, middle-aged Armando (played by Chilean director Pablo Larraín's regular Alfredo Castro) who lures young men to his home with money. He doesn’t want to touch, only watch from a strict distance. Armando’s first encounter with street thug Elder (Luis Silva) is violent, but this doesn’t discourage the lonely man’s fascination with the tough handsome teenager. Financial interest keeps Elder visiting him regularly and an unexpected intimacy emerges. However, Armando’s haunted past looms large, and Elder commits the ultimate act of affection on Armando’s behalf.
From Afar becomes the 25th Venezuelan Academy Awards candidate, with the hopes of becoming the first production from the country to earn a nomination since it started submitting entries in 1978. The closest it has been to being nominated was in 2014 when Arberto Arvelo's epic The Liberator which made the shortlist.
Watch the trailer: