After sifting through the entries from 83 different countries, the Academy announced on Friday that nine films would advance in the race to win a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. In an unprecedented year for Latin American cinema, two of those movies hail from the region: Venezuela’s Libertador and Relatos Salvajes from Argentina. Although it is not an official nomination, it is one step closer to the bronze statuette that Argentina has already won twice before. For Venezuela’s burgeoning cinema industry, it’s a remarkable achievement to even be shortlisted. Libertador, the sweeping biopic about the life of Simón Bolívar is reported to have cost more than $50 million, making it one of the most expensive productions in Latin American history.

The final nominees will be announced together with the full list of Oscar categories on January 15, 2015.


 

Libertador
The Liberator
Director: Alberto Arvelo
Country: Venezuela
Year: 2014

Starring Edgar Ramírez (Carlos, Zero Dark Thirty), this biopic follows the life and times of one of Latin America’s great revolutionary heroes, Simon Bolivar.


 

Relatos salvajes
Wild Tales
Director: Damián Szifrón
Country: Argentina
Year: 2014

Six stories about the violence that lies within us all, about characters seduced by the abyss, and the undeniable pleasure of losing control.