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Spain's Three Finalists (and other foreign film Oscar updates)

Time to start updating the Foreign Film Oscar submission charts on the regular! With the Venice/Telluride/TIFF wave about to hit we'll be getting regular news on which international films will be aiming for Oscar this season. Recently Spain announced their three finalists. They are...


  • Handia
    This costume drama based on a true story, is about two brothers, one of whom grows into a giant while his brother is away at war. It was the champ of the Goya Awards this past season, winning 10 trophies. It's also from the director of Flowers, Spain's submission in 2014. I personally found Flowers a bit sedate for its Oscar dreams but perhaps this new one is exciting. [Trailer]
  • Champions
    This crowd-pleasing comedy is a big hit in Spain. It's about a basketball team of mentally disabled players (played by real disabled people). [Trailer]
  • Everybody Knows 
    Asghar Farhadi, who has directed two foreign film winners, makes his first Spanish language film. The Cannes opener, a dramatic thriller, stars Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Ricardo Darín, all three of whom have starred in films which won this category in the past and other films which were also nominated in the category! In short, they're regulars. If Spain is trying to be strategic they might submit this one (given Oscar's love for all four of these people) but countries rarely select a film directed by a non-native to represent them so I'd still call this a longshot given that the reviews haven't suggested that Spain MUST submit it. [Trailer]


Spanish films that did not make the finals included: La llamada (Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi), Verónica (Paco Plaza), The Author (Manuel Martín Cuenca), I do not know how to say goodbye (Lino Escalera) and Sunday's Disease (Ramón Salazar).

Spain is currently experiencing their longest and, well, their only real Oscar dry spell. They were a regular presence for the first 45 years of the category and in fact are the third most honored country, ever, with 19 nominations and 4 wins. But they're likely to lose that #3 ranking to Germany or Sweden any year now the way that things are going. Spain's last nomination was fourteen whole years ago with The Sea Inside (2004), their fourth win in the category.

Thank you to readers Iggy and Juan Carlos for keeping us up to date on Spain's news. The selection committee will decide between these three pictures on September 6th.

Israel's finalist list of sorts since they almost always select the winner of The Ophir.



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Reader Comments (5)

I LOVE that you keep such good track of these! This is just one of the many reasons why I love The Film Experience!


August 16, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

Re. the comment under the Romania entry about TOUCH ME NOT - my memory of that film is that it is mostly in English (I may be wrong as the version I saw was open-captioned).

August 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Argentina was nominated for the film "Tango" (1998), with Spanish director Carlos Saura at the helm. The film was a coproduction.

August 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Spain deserves nothing, Such a fascist state with political prisoners and were rappers may go to jail.

August 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMacarena Granada

as spaniard, I completely agree with what Macarena Granada said. Even thought I'd love to see Javier Fesser win an Oscar, he's a genius.

August 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

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