Violeta Parra film is Chile’s official 2012 Oscar contender

The movie about Chile’s most celebrated folk artist has struck a chord with local audiences registering higher ticket sales than any other local film this year.

550

A feature film on the life of Chile’s most recognized folk artist, Violeta Parra, has been selected as a contender for the official Oscar nominations.

Andrés Wood’s Violeta Se Fue A Los Cielos (“Violeta Has Gone To Heaven”) was chosen by Chile’s National Culture and Arts Council (CNCA) to represent the country in the fiercely contested Best Foreign Film category.

The CNCA said the movie, inspired by Ángel Parra’s book of the same name, demonstrated the right qualities to join the race for the Academy Award.

Violeta Se Fue A Los Cielos has been well received by local audiences, drawing higher domestic ticket sales than any other Chilean film this year. It has also sparked renewed interest in the iconic cultural custodian in her native land.

The biggest challenge faced by the film in the lead up to next year’s Oscars is its relatively low profile outside Chile.

Wood is currently engaged in talks with Tornasol Films aimed at securing international distribution for the movie and the Chilean director told La Tercera that his first priority was to secure a date for a screening in the USA.

“We need to present Violeta Parra to an American audience as an interesting, multi-dimensional person, highlighting issues like her politics, for example,” he said

“I have to be a realist and acknowledge that this is a very difficult process. Even so, if we are able to get some positive feedback in Hollywood, the film will be in with a chance. We want to have the best campaign possible.”

Other films that were considered to represent Chile included Pablo Larraín’s Post Mortem and Oscar Godoy’s Ulises.

The official Oscar nominations will be announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on January 24 next year.