Argentina's Oscar Hopeful 'Aballay' Sweeps Local Film Awards

The "Gaucho Western" takes home eight Sur Awards at the South American country's equivalent of the Academy Awards.

Fernando Spiner's gaucho western Aballay was the top winner at the Argentine Film Academy Awards ceremony on Monday, taking home eight Sur Awards for best director, actress (Moro Anghileri), actor in a supporting role (Claudio Rizzi), cinematography (Claudio Beiza), editing (Alejandro Parysow), adapted screenplay, art design (Sandra Iurcovich) and original score (Gustavo Pomenarec).

A genre-fueled adaptation of Antonio Di Benedetto’s novel of the same title, Aballay is the Argentina's official foreign-language Oscar submission, where it will try to bring back the Oscar again after Juan Jose Campanella’s The Secret In Their Eyes took home the gold in 2009.

The Argentine Academy of Film Arts and Sciences was created in 2004, and is currently headed by Campanella

Despite it's dominance, Aballay didn't take home the top prize. Sebastian Borenzstein’s Chinese Take Away, a recent award winner and audience favorite at the Rome Film Festival, was named best film. It also took home the best actor award (Ricardo Darin) and actress in a supporting role (Muriel Santa Ana).

The indie hit The Student, directed by Santiago Mitre, received the award for best opera prima, original screenplay, and best breakthrough performance for both male and female stars Esteban Lamothe and Romina Paula.

Best Documentary went to Julian D’Angiolillo’s Hacerme Feriante, about massive knock-off of the Argentine fair La Salada in the Buenos Aires province. Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan was named best foreign film.