Mexico has named Cantinflas as its Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission, just in time for the film’s theatrical push into Mexico and Latin America this month. The biopic of famed Mexican comedian Mario Moreno aka Cantinflas was released by Pantelion in the U.S. on August 29 and has grossed $5 million stateside in 400 theaters. Director Sebastian del Amo co-wrote the script with Edui Tijerina. Óscar Jaenada (The Losers, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) stars opposite Michael Imperioli in the tale of the oddly mustachioed icon who rose from humble beginnings, earned the nickname “The Charlie Chaplin of Mexico,” and helped launch the country’s golden age of cinema.
Pantelion’s been pushing Cantinflas hard for months, attaching its trailer to screenings of studio blockbusters and marketing to multigenerational Latino audiences. The film opens in Mexico on September 16 via Videocine Distribucion and will release in 14 Latin American countries during the next few months. The Kenio Films picture is produced by Vidal Cantu and Adolfo Franco. Mexico’s most recent submissions to earn an Oscar nomination were Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful in 2010 and Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth in 2006.