Oscars: Paraguay Selects 'The Heiresses' for Foreign-Language Category

The Heiresses Still 1 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Lababosacine

Marcelo Martinessi's debut film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won three awards, including the Silver Bear for best actress for Ana Brun.

The Paraguayan Academy of Film Arts and Sciences has chosen Marcelo Martinessi's The Heiresses to compete in the foreign-language film category at the 2019 Oscars, as well as for the Spanish Goya and Mexico's Ariel awards.

Martinessi's debut film, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, tells the story of Chela (Ana Brun), a withdrawn, middle-aged gay woman who is forced to navigate a life separated from her partner of 30 years.

The Hollywood Reporter's review described the drama as one that "builds emotional involvement by infinitesimal degrees through its acute observation of characters and social context and its ultra-naturalistic performances."

The Heiresses became one of the most awarded Paraguayan films on the festival circuit, as Brun won the Silver Bear for best actress at Berlin, where the pic collected two more awards: the one given by the international film critics association FIPRESCI and the Alfred Bauer Prize for first films. The Heiress also won the international competition at South Korea's Jeonju International Film Festival and the Latin American competition at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, among others.

This is Paraguay's third Oscar submission after Cloudy Times (2015) and last year's The Gold Seekers. The country has yet to receive a nomination.