A waitress and singer struggles to recover from the death of her boyfriend.
Sweden’s “The Square,” Russia’s “Loveless” and Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman” are among the nine films that will advance in the Oscars race for Best Foreign Language Film, the Academy announced on Wednesday. The other films that made the list come from Germany (“In the Fade,” starring Diane Kruger), Hungary (“On Body and Soul”), Israel (“Foxtrot”), Lebanon (“The Insult”), Senegal (“Félicité”) and South Africa (“The Wound”). Angelina Jolie’s Cambodian-language film “First They Killed My Father” did not advance in the race, and neither did the critically acclaimed “Bpm (Beats Per Minute)” by Robin Campillo.
Seven titles have registered scores, with Sebastián Lelio’s transgender drama leading the way so far.
Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica) – about a transgender woman who deals with persecution following the death of her lover – is the early frontrunner on Screen’s 2017 Berlinale Jury Grid, comprised of scores from Screen’s jury of international critics.
Sony Pictures Classics acquired North America, Australia and New Zealand rights to the title in one of the festival’s splashier deals to date.
The jury awarded it a healthy 3.2 out of a possible 4, though two scores are yet to be registered.
Sitting in second position is Agnieszka Holland’s small-town mystery-thriller Spoor, after scoring 2.8 on the grid.
Titles playing in competition tomorrow include Thomas Arslan’s Bright Nights, Sally Potter’s The Party, and Sabu’s Mr Long.
Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the North America, Australia and New Zealand rights to director Sebastián Lelio’s Spanish-language trans drama “A Fantastic Woman” (“Una Mujer Fantástica”) from Participant Media. The movie will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on Feb. 12. The film follows Marina, a waitress and singer, and older man Orlando as they plan for the future together. When Orlando unexpectedly falls ill and dies, Marina has to face his family and society and show her true colors. Also Read: Sony Classics Picks Up Global Rights to ‘Brigsby Bear’ Lelio and Gonzalo Maza wrote the movie,
Foxtrot from IsraelMost of the nine short-listed films out of the 92 foreign language film submissions are well-known from the festival circuit and have been winning awards, though the omission of Bpm (Beats Per Minute), the French entry was very unexpected (Read my blog).
Two lesser-known films that were not widely predicted made the cut are Félicité from Senegal and The Wound from South Africa. (Read my blog)
On the business side, international coproducers, sales and distribution, companies hightlights include the most frequent participants in the U.S.: Sony Pictures Classics and Magnolia Pictures with three and two films, respectively, the U.K.’s Curzon Artificial Eye and The Match Factory, as the most frequent international sales agent.
The nine films are listed alphabetically below.
A Fantastic Woman (Chile, U.S.: Sony Pictures Classics)
A Fantastic Woman
Sebastian Lelio’s film about a waitress who moonlights as a nightclub singer.
A Fantastic Woman San Sebastian has announced the 12 films that will compete for the Horizontes Latinos prize at this year’s festival, including the latest from Sebastián Lelio, Michel Franco and Adrián Biniez.
The films in this section have been produced partially or totally in Latin America and directed by filmmakers of Latin American origin or which have Latino communities as their subject matter.
Among the familiar names in competition is Lelio, Sebastián Lelio, whose first film, La Sagrada Familia, competed in Horizontes Latinos in 2005 and whose fourth, Gloria, won the Films in Progress Award in San Sebastian in 2012. His latest film, A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica), Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlinale, will open the section.