Spanish short clinches Oscar nomination

Spanish director Esteban Crespo has been nominated for this year's Oscars for his short film Aquel no era yo (That wasn't me), an action thriller about a voluntary worker trying to rescue child soldiers in Africa.

Spanish short clinches Oscar nomination
Aquel no era Yo (That wasn't me) tells the story of Paula, a Spanish volunteer in Africa, and Kaney, a young boy who’s part of a militia of child soldiers. Photo: Movie Poster

Crespo's short film, a winner at this year’s Spanish Goya Awards, will compete against other live action short movies from the UK, France, Denmark and Finland.

Aquel no era Yo (That wasn't me) tells the story of Paula, a Spanish volunteer in Africa, and Kaney, a young boy who’s part of a militia of child soldiers.

The plot focuses on how their lives change forever after a lethal shot is fired.

Although the movie is set in an unspecific spot on the African continent, Crespo and his team actually filmed it just outside the city of Toledo, in central Spain.

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"We achieved great results thanks to our artistic team and by digitally adding African vegetation and what not," Crespo told Spanish daily 20 minutos.

Spanish film critics believe the chances of Aquel no era Yo being the winner are relatively high because the spectacular, action-packed nature of the short film is popular in Oscar films.

"The good thing is that they've watched it on a big screen and that way it's more striking," Crespo adds.

"The film grabs the spectator and the tension keeps building until the end."

Spain's previous Oscar winners include Javier Bardem for Best Supporting Actor in No Country for Old Men (2007) and director Pedro Almodóvar for Best Original Screenplay for Talk to her (2002).

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Spain picks Almódovar’s ‘Pain and Glory’ for Oscars

Spain's film academy said Thursday it had picked veteran director Pedro Almódovar's latest drama "Pain and Glory" to represent the country at the Oscars.

Spain picks Almódovar's 'Pain and Glory' for Oscars
Photos: AFP

The film, a semi-autobiographical story featuring Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas about an ageing Spanish director plagued by physical and psychological frailty who revisits childhood memories, will compete with other global entries for a nomination as Best International Feature Film.   


The five nominations for the category that up until now has been known as the best foreign-language film will be announced on January 13. The 92nd Academy Awards will be held on February 9, 2020.

Almódovar, who won the Golden Lion lifetime achievement award at the Venice Film Festival last month, has already picked up two Oscars — for best foreign firm with “All About My Mother” in 2000 and for best original screenplay with “Talk To Her” in 2003.   

The 69-year-old has directed 21 feature films, including “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”, “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” and “High Heels”.