Costa Rica on Friday selected Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s debut feature Clara Sola to as the country’s submission to the 2022 International Feature Oscar race. The pic, which made its world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, was later scooped up by Oscilloscope Laboratories which will release it in theaters early next year.
Álvarez Mesén and Maria Camila Arias co-penned the script for the pic, which is set in a remote Costa Rican village and centers on 40-year-old Clara, who endures a repressively religious and withdrawn life under the command of her mother. Tension builds within the family as Clara’s younger niece approaches her quinceañera, igniting a sexual and mystical awakening in Clara, and a journey to free herself from the conventions that have dominated her life.
Ana Julia Porras Espinoza, Daniel Castañeda Rincón, Flor María Vargas Chavez and Wendy Chinchilla Araya star. Sweden-based production company Hobab produced with the Resolve Media, Costa Rica’s Pacifica Grey, Belgium’ Need Productions and Germany’s Laïdak Films.
Costa Rica has never won the International Feature Oscar (the category was previously called the Best Foreign Language Film) or the category’s shortlist. Last year, it submitted Ceniza Negra’s Land of Ashes.
This year, the Oscar Academy will reveal the category’s 15-film shortlist December 21. Nominations will be announced February 8.
Here’s a running list of this year’s submissions: