Monday, September 26, 2016 | Updated at 8:12 PM ET

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Oscar 2017 Predictions: Will Mexico's Immigration drama 'Desierto' Film Resonate with the Academy in the Midst of the U.S Election?

First Posted: Sep 15, 2016 09:46 AM EDT
Desierto

Desierto (Photo : STX Entertainment )

Jonas Cuaron will represent Mexico at the Academy Awards with his feature film debut “Desierto.” Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, the feature premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year and quickly received distribution from STX entertainment.


The film, which tells the story of a group of people trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States who encounter a man who has taken border patrol duties into his own racist hands, was originally slated for release in March but is now slated for an October release. While reviews have been mixed the political themes the film delves into should definitely resonate with Academy members.


In Mexico a trailer was released with an anti-immigrant voiceover from Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The trailer shows the racist character killing migrant workers one by one while excerpts of Trumps hate speech are heard.

"Desierto" should definitely stir up conversation particularly because it shows a white man killing Latin American immigrants. In this election cycle immigration, racisim and bigotry have been huge topics and this film will likely stir some controversy about what is tolerable in the country and whether or not there is a need for a wall built. 

Since 1957 Mexico began submitting films to the Academy and has received eight Academy Award nominations in the category. However, it has never won. Among the recent nominees include Alejandro G. Inarritu's “Biutiful” in 2010 and Guillermo del Toro's “Pan's Labyrinth” in 2006. That film was the front-runner but was suprised by "The Lives of Others." However, "Pan's Labyrinth" still managed to win three Oscars. 


Last year the country submitted “600 Miles,” which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and won the Best First Film award at the festival. The film was later released by Lionsgate and Pantelion in the U.S.


“Desierto” faces fierce competition from many popular films. However, if the Academy wants to get political and the film is popular at the box office, then expect a nomination and some controversy.

However first it must compete against the likes of "Death in Sarajevo," "Letters from War" and "On the Other Side."  Other films it will be competing against are Chile's "Neruda," Germany's "Toni Erdman," Spain's "Julietta," Venezuela's "From Afar,"  and Finland's 'The Happiest Day in the Life of the Olli Maki'

Recent Foreign Language film winners have included “Son of Saul,” “Ida,” “The Great Beauty,” and “A Separation.”

The deadline to submit for the foreign language category is Oct. 3. On Jan. 17 the Academy will announce the nine finalists from among the eligible films and on Jan. 24 nominations will be announced. The winner will be announced at the Oscar ceremony on Feb. 26, 2017.

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