Sao Paulo, Sep 24, A film about the life of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was chosen Thursday to represent the South American country in the Best Foreign Language Film category at next year’s Oscars, the culture ministry said.
“Lula, o filho de Brasil” (Lula, Son of Brazil) was chosen by a committee made up of representatives of the culture ministry, the Brazilian Film Academy and the National Film Agency, among other organisations.
“We took Brazil into consideration,” Brazilian Film Academy President Roberto Faria said. “Lula is a star here and abroad.”
Faria denied that politics played a role in the selection, which comes just 10 days before presidential elections in which Lula’s hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff, is the frontrunner.
“We voted for the film we thought was best, one that honors Brazilian cinema and has an actress like Gloria Pires, who is an excellent candidate for the best-actress prize,” Faria said.
He said the film, which was directed by Fabio Barreto and debuted last year, “has already gone through all the critical screening in that sense”.
“Our party is Brazilian cinema,” added producer Mariza Leao Salles de Rezende, another member of the selection committee.
A total of 23 films were in the running to represent Brazil at the next Academy Awards ceremony Feb 27, 2011, including “Nosso Lar”, an adaptation of a book written by a leader of Brazil’s spiritism movement, which has millions of followers nationwide.
The Lula biopic is based on an authorised biography written by Denise Parana, which covers the president’s life from his birth in 1945 in a city in the northeastern state of Pernambuco to his consolidation as a labor leader at the start of the 1980s.
Entries in the Best Foreign Language Film category will be submitted from 95 countries, with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences narrowing that list down to five nominees in late January.