Argentina, 1985, Santiago Mitre’s film about the prosecution team behind Argentina’s landmark Trial of the Juntas, has been nominated for an Oscar in the International Feature Film category, the Academy announced today. Argentina, 1985, which is also on the short list for the British BAFTA awards, recently won the Golden Globe for best picture in non-English language.
An Amazon Studios-backed co-production starring Ricardo Darin and Peter Lanzani as real-life prosecutors Julio Strassera and Luis Moreno Ocampo, Argentina, 1985 focuses on the efforts of Strassera’s young team of legal aids to try the leaders of the military dictatorship that ruled the country between 1976 and 1983 for massive kidnapping, torture and homicide. The trial was the first time in history that a civilian court brought the leaders of a military dictatorship to justice.
Producer Axel Kuschevatzky told the Herald that one strength of Argentina, 1985 is the way it connects with audiences. “In my experience, this is an important element for Academy members. And I believe that one thing that favors the film is that degree of emotional connection. I’m not saying the other ones don’t have that, but this one clearly does,” he adds.
The other nominees in the International Feature Film category are EO (Poland), All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany), Close (Belgium), and The Quiet Girl (Ireland).
Produced by La Union de los Ríos, Infinity Hill, and Kenya Films, Argentina, 1985 premiered in August at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the FIPRESCI award from the international federation of film reporters. It also collected the Audience Award at the San Sebastian film festival later this year, and topped the box office in Argentina with a controversial limited theatrical release after all major multiplexes refused to screen the film in opposition to Amazon’s “theatrical window” of two weeks before the film became available for online streaming worldwide.
The 95th Oscars will be held on March 12 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will be televised live worldwide.
This is the seventh nomination for Argentina in that category. The last, co-produced by Kuschevatsky, was Damian Szifron’s Wild Tales at the 87th Oscars in 2015, where it lost to Poland’s entry Ida.
Two Argentine films have won the International Feature Film category: Juan José Campanella’s The Secret In Their Eyes, in 2009, and Luis Puenzo’s The Official Story (1986), which was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay and was the first Latin American film to win the Best Foreign Language Film category.