Oscars: Belgium Selects 'Our Mothers' for International Feature Film Category

Courtesy of Need Productions
'Our Mothers'

Guatemalan director Cesar Diaz's Spanish-language co-production turns on the still-open wounds of his country's 36-year Civil War.

Belgium has picked Spainish-language co-production Our Mothers, a drama from Guatemalan-Belgian director Cesar Diaz, as its entry for the best international feature film category at the 2020 Oscars.

Our Mothers premiered in Critics Week at this year's Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Camera d'Or.

The film revolves around a young forensic anthropologist whose job requires him to collect heart-wrenching testimonies from family members of victims of the country's vicious 36-year civil war. He believes his own father is still among the disappeared, and his mother has her own harrowing tale.​​

Diaz told The Hollywood Reporter the nomination "is important for me and especially for Belgium, because the fact that this country is represented by a film in Spanish means we're living a moment of openness and integration much beyond borders."

Last year's pick from Belgium was director Lukas Dhont's controversial Girl about a transgender teen with dreams of becoming a ballerina. The film did not make the final list of Oscar nominees.

There have been a total of seven Belgian Oscar nominees in the past — most recently with The Broken Circle Breakdown in 2013 — but no entry from Belgium has yet won an Academy Award.

Oct. 1, 2019 is the deadline for submissions for the international feature category. The Academy will pick 10 finalists from the initial longlist. The final five Oscar nominees will be announced Jan. 13, 2020.

The winners will be announced at the 92nd Academy Awards on Feb. 9, 2020