Last year’s Toronto Film Festival entry The Chambermaid has been selected by the Academia Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematograficas to represent Mexico at the 92nd Oscars. The film is the first feature directed by Lila Aviles. Kino Lorber has domestic rights.
The story traces the daily routine and grand ambitions of a hard-working chambermaid at a high-end Mexico City hotel. A young, single mother who travels far to get to her place of work, Eve has aspirations for the future and hopes that her diligence will get her a coveted spot as the cleaner on an executive floor. She enrolls in the hotel’s adult education program in her quest for a better life but quickly discovers that it’s not necessarily the most hard-working who get noticed for advancement.
Mexico is coming off of its first Oscar win in the Foreign Language race (now known as the International Feature Film category) with Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma. The country previously had received eight nominations. Over the past year, The Chambermaid has scooped prizes in Palm Springs, Portland, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Marrakech, among others.
Also new to the International race is Taiwan’s Dear Ex. A gay-themed comedy, it is directed by Chih-Yen Hsu and Mag Hsu. The story sees a teenage boy and his mother further driven apart when they find out that his father’s life insurance policy is to be received by a secret lover.
The selection committee reportedly praised the film for its humorous look at a milestone in Taiwan’s human rights development. The movie has already won prizes at the Taipei Film Awards and the Golden Horse Awards. Netflix has rights.
Taiwan has won the Oscar once in this field, for Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It most recently made the shortlist with 2011’s Seediq Bale.