It has been a difficult year for film, especially cinema releases but, as the old entertainment saying goes, ‘the show must go on’. Due to the ongoing pandemic, it was announced earlier this year that the 2021 Academy Awards event will take place not in February, but on 25 April 2021, at the usual event venue, the spectacular Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
In recent years, this highest award in the filmmaking business has been kind to Latin American filmmakers, especially Mexican directors: Since 2014 five directing awards were won by Alfonso Cuarón (for Gravity in 2014 and Roma in 2019), Alejandro González Iñárritu (for Birdman in 2015 and The Revenant in 2016), and Guillermo del Toro (for The Shape of Water in 2018).
The wonderful leading actress in Roma, Yalitza Aparicio Martínez, became the first indigenous woman nominated for best actress at the Oscars in 2019. In 2017, Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman was the First Chilean film to win Best International Feature Film and a year before, Colombia’s Embrace of the Serpent made the list of nominees. Brazil joined this list as well: In 2020, The Edge of Democracy directed by Petra Costa, which analyses the rise and fall of Presidents Lula and Dilma Rousseff and the ensuing socio-political crisis in Brazil, was nominated for Best Documentary Feature.
Until 1 December all countries could submit a film for the category of Best International Feature Film, but only one entry per country is allowed. The nominated films are usually selected by the national Ministry of Culture. Not only does the submitted film receive the full support of the country, but also some financial aid, as it is an expensive endeavour to promote the film amongst the active members of the Academy Members across the globe.
Latin America’s submissions to the 2021 Oscars are: