Mexico's 'Labyrinth' on Oscar path


MEXICO CITY -- Guillermo del Toro's dark fantasy "Pan's Labyrinth" has been selected as Mexico's foreign-language submission for the 79th Annual Academy Awards, giving the film industry here a strong Oscar contender.

Written, directed and produced by del Toro, "Pan's Labyrinth" will hit U.S. theaters Dec. 29. Tequila Gang, del Toro's Mexican production company, co-produced the picture with Spain's Estudios Picasso.

Additionally, the Mexican Film Academy of Arts and Sciences has selected the documentary "En el Hoyo" (In the Pit) as its foreign film entry for the 21st edition of Spain's Goya Awards.

Directed and filmed by Juan Carlos Rulfo, "Hoyo" has won prizes on the festival circuit, including best international documentary at January's Sundance Film Festival.

Should "Pan's Labyrinth" get an Oscar nomination, it will become the third Mexican film in six years to land one of the slots in the foreign-language category.

Recent nominees from Mexico include Carlos Carrera's "El Crimen del Padre Amaro" (The Crime of Father Amaro) in 2003 and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Amores Perros" (Love's a Bitch) in 2001.