Oscars: Colombia Selects 'Alias Maria' for Foreign-Language Category

Alias Maria Still - H 2015
Rhayuela Cine

Alias Maria Still - H 2015

Jose Luis Rugeles' story about a child guerrilla soldier competed in Cannes' Un Certain Regard.

The Colombian Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences (ACACC) on Monday announced that Jose Luis Rugeles' Alias Maria will be the country's bid for an Oscar.

An Un Certain Regard entry at the Cannes Film Festival in May after premiering at the Cartagena International Film Festival in March, Alisa Maria features Karen Torres as a early teen and guerrilla fighter who must take her commander officer's newborn baby to safety across the Colombian jungle while deciding how to deal with her own pregnancy.

Colombia's decades-long armed conflict recently came to a halt after an historic peace agreement between the FARC guerrilla forces and the Colombian government. Consuelo Luzardo, head of ACACC, said the film can stand out because of its theme, and because it depicts unknown situations that occurred within the guerrilla forces, according to the Academy's press release.

Alisa Maria, produced by Colombia's Rhayuela Cine (GarciaThe Squad), with Argentina's Sudestada Cine and France's Axxon Films co-producing, is the result of a trans-media project for the prevention of forced recruitment of children by guerrilla forces.

ACACC also selected Anna to be the country's candidate for a Spanish Goya award in the best foreign-film category. The film, about a woman on the run from her family with her boyfriend and young son, was directed by Jacques Toulemonde's, who co-wrote the script for Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia's first-ever Oscar nomination in the foreign-language category last year.