Costa Rica Announces Oscar Contender


Costa Rica, along with Latvia, Kyrgyzstan and Montenegro are the latest countries to announce their entries for the newly rebranded International Feature Film award at the 92nd Academy Awards.

All four countries are seeking their first Oscar nomination in what was formerly known as the foreign-language film category.


Costa Rica has chosen Antonella Sudasassi’s “The Awakening of the Ants” – El despertar de las hormigas (original title).

A co-production with Spain, it is the story of Isabel is a 28-year-old seamstress – a good mother, wife and daughter-in-law – who is forced into an unavoidable rebellion following pressure from her family to have another child, a boy, and this pressure awakens her to a progressive, silent, and unavoidable rebellion.

The film, marking Costa Rica’s eighth time submitting an entry for the award, was released in Spain, at the Málaga Film Festival, in March; at the Costa Rica International Film Festival, on April 30, 2019; and in the U.S., at the Seattle International Film Festival, on June 5, 2019.

Latvia has selected Holocaust drama “The Mover” as its entry for the award. It is the 12th time Latvia has submitted an entry. It tells the story of Zanis Lipke, a blue-collar worker honored for his heroic deeds during World War II.

Kyrgyzstan has chosen Bekzat Pirmatov’s drama “Aurora,” which follows the events of one day in a sanatorium on the shores of a mountain lake in Central Asia. Montenegro has selected Andro Martinovic’s triptych “Neverending Past” as its entry. The feature debut takes place across three different time periods to tell a story about fathers who find themselves in borderline situations.

The five eventual nominees for the International Feature Film Award will be announced with those in other categories on Jan. 13, 2020. The 92nd Academy Awards will be held Feb. 9, 2020.