Oscars: Chile Selects 'Spider' for International Feature Film Category

Spider Still - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Film Factory

Andres Wood's third bid for an Academy Award is a political thriller set in the early 1970s in Chile.

The Chilean Minister of Culture announced Tuesday that Andres Wood's Spider will be the country's bid for the Oscar in the international feature film category as well as in the Spanish Goya Awards.

The political thriller, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, is an "elegantly told tale of the diverging fates of a gang of right-wing radicals in the pre-coup d'état Chile of the early '70s" that "is both as human and as political in its concerns as you'd expect from Wood," according to Jonathan Holland's review.

Spider is Wood's third Oscar bid for Chile, following his 2012 Sundance award-winning Violeta Went to Heaven, about Chilean folklore artist Violeta Parra, and the 2004 Cannes-premiered drama Machuca.

Chile's presence at the Academy Awards has been increasing in recent years; after the country's first nomination, which was obtained by Pablo Larrain's No in 2012, Gabriel Osorio Vargas' Bear Story took home the Academy Award for best animated short film in 2016, the country's first-ever Oscar, which prompted a presidential welcome for the film's crew. 

Most recently, Sebastian Lelio's A Fantastic Woman won in the foreign-language film category in 2017. 

The 92nd Academy Awards are due to take place Feb. 9, 2020.