“The Sleepwalkers” Named as Argentina’s Pick for Oscars’ International Feature Category

Already the winner of 15 international film awards, “The Sleepwalkers” (“Los sonámbulos”) is one step closer to an Oscar nomination. Paula Hernández’s drama about a family in crisis has been named as Argentina’s pick for the International Feature Film...

“The Sleepwalkers” Named as Argentina’s Pick for Oscars’ International Feature Category

Awards

“The Sleepwalkers” Named as Argentina’s Pick for Oscars’ International Feature Category

"The Sleepwalkers"

Already the winner of 15 international film awards, “The Sleepwalkers” (“Los sonámbulos”) is one step closer to an Oscar nomination. Paula Hernández’s drama about a family in crisis has been named as Argentina’s pick for the International Feature Film category at the 93rd edition of the Academy Awards. A press release confirmed the news.

Penned by Hernández, the film follows Luisa, “who is spending her New Year’s holiday with her husband and her 14-year-old daughter — Ana, a sleepwalker during a critical point of adolescence — at her mother-in-law’s country house with other family members. But what was hoped to be a leisurely summer vacation explodes as Luisa and Ana contend with pressures pushing them to their limits,” the film’s synopsis hints.

Erica Rivas and Ornella D’Elía star.

“The film is born from an intimate and deep question about family ties. Usually, the starting point of my films has biographical elements, but they are just excuses to reflect on the themes that interest me,” Hernández told us ahead of “The Sleepwalkers'” world premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.

The writer-director explained, “When I became a mother, an infinite number of questions and uncertainties arose about that loving, unique, and incomparable bond, and also about the idea of a ‘family’– who are you [when you] become a mother? How do you connect with that little new life and with everyone else around it? What is the fair distance between parents and children in that growth? What is a family? How much is there of a choice [when it comes to family compared to what’s mandated by norms]? [What] toxic bonds [are perpetuated] without one asking questions? Motherhood confronts you with a great questioning of identity and how to connect with the rest of the world,” she emphasized. “In those dense waters, in that pathology called ‘family,’ is where this film navigates.”

Hernández’s other credits include “Inheritance,” “Rain,” and “Un Amor.” The last woman-directed title submitted in the International Feature Film category, then known as the Best Foreign Language Film Award, by Argentina was Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama” at the 90th edition of the ceremony. Maria Luisa Bemberg made history as the first — and remains the only — Argentine woman director to be nominated in the category. She was in the running at the 57th Oscars for “Camila.”

Oscar nominations will be announced March 15, and the ceremony is slated to take place April 25.