'Blind Sunflowers' enters Oscar race for Spain

Post-Spanish Civil War tale based on novel by Mendez

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain -- Jose Luis Cuerda's drama "The Blind Sunflowers" is Spain's candidate in the foreign-language Oscar race, the Spanish Film Academy announced Friday.

"Sunflowers" stars Maribel Verdu and Javier Camara in a post-Spanish Civil War tale based on the novel by Alberto Mendez.

Spain is still high off the best actor Oscar win for countryman Javier Bardem, who claimed the prize for his role in "No Country for Old Men," as well as a string of Oscar successes in recent years that include Alejandro Amenabar's 2005 Oscar for "The Sea Inside" and Pedro Almodovar's 2002 best screenplay win and director nom for "Talk to Her."

The five official Oscar nominees will be announced Jan. 22, with the winner revealed at the 81st annual Academy Awards ceremony Feb. 22.