Two years after Colombia made history at the Oscars with its first nomination in the category of Foreign Language Film, the film industry in Colombia continues to produce more than 30 films a year, a robust and diverse group, with problems of distribution and visibility, but that is there, available to whoever is willing to see it. And that’s only counting the commercial premieres, because an infinity of additional films are left in the limbo of festivals and special exhibitions.
This year, more than 20 countries have already announced their representatives in the category of Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. It is expected that in the coming weeks the list will go up to more than 80, as has been the practice in recent years. The Colombian Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences will have to choose between 34 feature films premiered between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017. The list, which could be modified if there are changes in programming in the remainder of the month, is The next:
Ati and Mindhiwa
Shaman, the last warrior
Agent Ñero Ñero 7
Jericho, the infinite flight of days
What they call love
The amazing days of Guillermino
Sorry, if you listen to her, you die
The woman of the animal
House for jail
Where are the thieves?
The Watson case
The happiest country in the world
Without moving the lips
The silence of the rifles
The dragon defense
At this time tomorrow
Back to school
The Show of Populated Eyebrows
We have already said it on previous occasions, but at this point the most important thing is that the film manages to stand out among a huge number of films from around the world. The epic scale of “The embrace of the snake”, its thriller tints and other media elements helped it stand out, adding to the positive reviews that began to accumulate in its Cannes premiere. And is that a premiere at a festival of ‘high-end’ as Cannes, Venice or Berlin immediately guarantees a media coverage difficult to achieve in other ways.
It is not essential, but it is important that the films have had some international “blank” to get an idea of how foreign audiences react to our stories. “The dragon’s defense” was at Cannes; at the Toronto festival, perhaps the most important in North America, were “The Woman of the Animal” and “X500”; Venice hosted “Pariente” and Locarno, home of revolutionary and experimental proposals, had “Tomorrow at this time”. The Colombian Academy chose well, then, when it announced that its pre-selected would be the first four:
And although none of these four films has had an impact like “The snake’s embrace”, it can not be ruled out that one of them manages to appeal to the members of the Academy (from the USA) who see it in the process of selection. After the list of 80+ films is announced (one per country), volunteer members of the Academy have the task of seeing them in special presentations in which they see one after another for several days, until completing 15 each. They must vote on a scale of 1 to 10 and the six films with the highest number of votes enter the preselected list. In the midst of strenuous days in which one film follows the other almost restlessly, if you want to be nominated you have to stand out, for whatever reason. The other three films that complete the list of nine shortlisted are determined by a specialized executive committee of twenty members, whose function is to rescue those films that have been forgotten by the volunteer members and that are usually of international importance, especially for their participation in festivals around the world. . Of those nine come the eventual five nominees.