Two sets of international film awards were recently handed out and in the holiday flurry we haven't yet shared them, but since three Oscar submissions dominated, better late than never!
The Fenix awards are a Mexican based initiative to honor films and industry professionals of Latin America, Spain and Portugal.m They're only in their second year so it's too new to know if they'll make an impact but this year they gave Pablo Larraín's El Club (Chile's tramautizing Oscar submission) Picture, Director, Screenplay and Actor prizes. Alfredo Castro was the acting recipient of the latter (it's a large cast of mostly men and fans of Larraín will know him well since he previously starred in Larraín's other Oscar submissions Tony Manero and No). Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia's mesmerizing Oscar submission for which we're heartily rooting) took Sound, Cinematography, and Music along with Best Director (in a tie)
Golden Horse Awards
The Assassin, which has been marginally successful without quite catching on with audiences, is on a roll with prizes and honors. This past week it dominated the Golden Horse Awards winning six prizes with Picture, Cinematography, Makeup and Costume Design (which are grouped for some reason), Sound Effects and a special filmmaking prize for Hsiao-hsien Hou even though they also gave him Best Director! So that didn't leave much for its chief rivals Mountains May Depart, Port of Call, Tharlo, and Drunk Thanatos but they each were honored in one way or another. Hou's semi-abstract take on the wuxia genre also topped the Sight & Sound Best of 2015 poll.
Which is a long way of saying that this one, which is pretty but alienating, might prove hard for the Academy's Executive Committee to ignore when it comes to their "three saves" for the 9 wide finalist list from which the 5 Best Foreign Language Film nominees will be chosen.
Related: Foreign Film Oscar Charts