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El Agente Topo: the only Latin-American movie nominated to the Oscars 2021

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Other two movies from the region were close to entering the list of the nominees but were finally left out 

The Hollywood Academy decided this week that El Agente Topo (The Mole Agent), a Chilean documentary, was on the list of five nominees for the award for Best International Film. The documentary was not only competing for a nomination for Best International Film but also for Best Documentary, marking the first time a film from Chile managed to compete in both categories at the same time. 

The movie follows an 80-year old man (Sergio Chamy) that was hired by a private detective to find out if residents of a nursing home were being abused by caretakers. The Chilean film, directed by Maite Alberdi, can be seen on Netflix and it portraits with humor and an unusual spy story, a topic that normally does not get much attention.

“It is an honor to have been among those shortlisted with such an incredible range of documentary films and we are truly grateful to the Hollywood Academy for choosing us,” director Alberdi told El PAÍS. “This nomination means for each older adult that the world still sees and values ​​them and helps us to remember that it is not only important to increase life expectancy, but also the desire to live,” she added.

Before being nominated for an Oscar, The Mole Agent won an Audience Award at the San Sebastián Film Festival, and more recently was a finalist at the Goya Awards.

“For a Latin American team led by women, this kind of dream seems impossible,” Abelardo said. The production was a group of five producers from different parts of the world. “When we had to edit there were five different voices, of different nationalities, contributing to the film from their perspective so that it would work in their country. And that I think it was decisive to make a universal and global story that would work in all territories,” she added. 

The Topo Agent will be the only Latin American feature film present at the awards to be held on April 25 and it was one of the three Latin American shortlisted for the category of Best International Film. The others were the Mexican film Ya no estoy aquí, and Guatemalan La Llorona.

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