'Sunflowers' blooms

Jose Luis Cuerda's drama "The Blind Sunflowers" is Spain's candidate in the foreign- language Oscar race, the Spanish Film Academy said Friday. "Sunflowers" stars Maribel Verdu and Javier Camara in a post-Spanish Civil War tale. The five official foreign-language Oscar nominees will be announced Jan. 22, with the winner revealed at the 81st Annual Academy Awards ceremony Feb. 22. A list of foreign-language Oscar entries can be found at


The 35th annual Ghent International Film Festival, which runs from Oct. 7-18 in Belgium, will kick off Oct. 6 with a pre-opening-night screening of Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," to be followed the next night by the opening-night film, Thomas McCarthy's "The Visitor."


Steven Soderbergh's Che Guevara biopic "The Argentine" will open the sixth annual Morelia International Film Festival, with Soderbergh, producer Laura Bickford and actors Benicio del Toro and Julia Ormond slated to attend the inaugural screening. Morelia, one of Mexico's top movie showcases, runs from Saturday to Oct. 12. Over the years, Morelia has earned a reputation as a film fest that provides a key platform for first- and second-time directors, and for documentary filmmakers as well.