Oscars: Argentina Selects 'Zama' for Foreign-Language Category

ZAMA- Still 2 -H 2017
Courtesy of Venice International Film Festival

An adaptation of Antonio Di Benedetto's existential novel, the film marks the return of auteur Lucrecia Martel after nine years.

The Argentine Film Academy announced Lucrecia Martel's Zama will be the country's submission for consideration in the foreign-language film Oscar category, as well as the local candidate for the Spanish Goya Awards.

An "atmospheric adaptation of the well-regarded 1956 existential novel by fellow Argentinean Antonio di Benedetto," as described in The Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney's review, Zama depicts an 18th century colonial officer of the Spanish crown (played by Daniel Gimenez Cacho) who is stationed in a remote South American river town, waiting for a transfer that will never come.

Produced by Rei Cine with an array of partners that includes Pedro and Agustin Almodovar's El Deseo, France's MPM Film and Brazil's Bananeira Filmes, Zama premiered in Venice out-of-competition and later in Toronto, and is currently playing at the 55th New York Film Festival.

The latest feature by Martel, one of the country's most internationally renowned auteurs, comes nine years after her drama/thriller The Headless Woman premiered in Cannes' official competition back in 2008.

Argentina's previous Oscar nominations include La tregua (1974), Camila (1985), The Official Story (which won the statuette in 1986), Wild Tales (2015), and two-time nominee Juan Jose Campanella's Son of the Bride (2001) and The Secret In Their Eyes (2012), a thriller starring Ricardo Darin that earned a Hollywood remake featuring Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 2015.