Libertador movie makes Oscar shortlist

Libertador3_foto_Teresa-Isasi_990Looks like the central government will have something to celebrate these days, as the Simon Bolivar biopic “Libertador” made the shortlist of nine films for the Best Film in a Foreign Language category in the upcoming 87th Academy Awards. It’s the first time ever for a Venezuelan film.

But it still has to wait until January 15th to know if it make the final five. Another Latin American film, Argentina’s “Wild Tales” also made the cut.

For the record, the movie has made only a little over 100,000 dollars in the U.S. and even if it was successful here, it won’t recover the 50 million dollars it cost, making it the most expensive Venezuelan movie ever.

Congratulations to the director Alberto Arvelo and the rest of the film’s cast and crew. But I have a piece of advice to Mr. Arvelo: There’s a couple of guys pushing your movie publicly. If I was you, I would ask them to keep it lowkey.

P.S.: For those who’re curious, here’s how this works: Every country selects a film to represent them at the Oscar. Then, a committee of L.A.-based voters sees every film (a record 83 this year) and select this shortlist of nine. Now, this goes into a larger committee that also include voters from NYC and London. They will select the five nominees. The entire Academy membership (5,783) will select the final winner to be announced on Sunday, February 22nd.

And I can tell you this about Oscar races today: PR campaigns matter. Sometimes more than the movies themselves.