When the Academy announced the full list of submissions for its newly renamed Best International Film (fka Best Foreign Language Film), a whopping 16 came from Latin American filmmakers. As usual, the list served as a reminder of the many celebrated projects from around the globe. For avid cinephiles, it might even have become a kind of shortlist for “What to Watch” in the coming months. Unless you’re traveling from film festival to film festival or keeping an eye on their limited release schedules in the year ahead, you’d be hard-pressed to manage the feat of catching all of them ahead of the nominations announcement in January. Thankfully, the Hola México Film Festival is hoping to help you out with that. So long, of course, you live in sunny LA and want a chance to spend many long days in the famed Ricardo Montalbán Theater.
At the end of the month, they’ll screen most of the films, from Mexico’s La camarista and Colombia’s Monos to the DR’s El proyeccionista and Uruguay’s Así habló el cambista. It’s a rare chance to see the full range of projects that countries from all over Latin America have submitted for consideration and who hope to join the ranks of recent nominees like Embrace of the Serpent, No, Wild Tales and maybe even winners like A Fantastic Woman. A Latin American indie movie marathon that will feature tearful queer dramas, sisterly melodramas, and even a class warfare comedy, this is the kind of programming feat worth supporting. Truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Bonus: If you’re a voting member of the Academy, you get in for free!
While it’s exciting to see so many Latin American film submissions, not all of them will make the final cut. From all eligible movies, 10 will be announced in mid-December as part of the shortlist. From that list, Academy members will vote and selective five as the official nominees, which will be announced January 13, 2020.
2019 Latin America Nominations Screenings (LANS) run November 22 – 27, 2019 at the Montalbán Theater in Los Angeles.