Oscar season is upon us, which means you have five months to scour the interwebz for every hyped blockuster that will win Hollywood’s popularity contest. Out of the 65 golden statues presented to foreign films since 1947, 52 have gone to European films, six to Asian films, three to African film and three to films from the Americas–that means us. Since 2000, groundbreaking features like Amores Perros, The Crime of Father Amaro, and No have showed us a few things 1) Gael Garcia Bernal is Academy gold and 2) Latin film is back with a vengeance. The submissions are rolling in and we’ve put together a list of las Americas’ contenders. You may not see these come February 2014, but they’re la créme de la créme coming out of Latin Cine today.
Director: Amat Escalante
Director Amat Escalante won Best Director at this years Cannes for his powerful, shocking, yet very real look at Mexico’s drug-related violence and how it effects people from all walks of life.
Director: Ronni Castillo
This is 26 year old Ronni Castillo’s first feature length film and already a success in D.R.. Following the mind games of a womanizer (Frank Perozo) and a man-eater (Nashla Bogaert) who’s pursuits in love and lust will leave you laughing.
La Playa DC
Director: Juan Andrés Arango
Brothers Tomas, Chaco and Jairo have fled to Bogota, leaving behind a life of civil-war and their fathers ill past. Set in the mean streets of Bogota, this coming of age story has romance, barber shops, hip hop music with an Indio twist and the bold direction of breakout Juan Andrés Arango.
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Gloria is a middle-aged woman quietly preparing herself for the inevitable loneliness of old age. That is, until she meets Rodolfo, a kind man who sparks something within her she thought to be long gone. A wise, funny and sometimes melancholy film, Gloria has been making the International Film Festival rounds and getting praise.
Brecha en el Silencio
Director: Luis & Andres Rodriguez
Former social workers and brothers Luis & Andres Rodriguez tell the story of a deaf-mute girl trying to take control of her and her siblings lives after living in the hands of abusive parents for 19 years. Venezuela’s own ‘Precious’, it’s already a smash-hit back home.