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Oscars 2015 History: How Has Brazil Done at the Biggest Film Awards Show on the Planet?

First Posted: Jan 26, 2015 05:18 PM EST
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Fernando Meirelles is one of two Brazilian directors nominated for best director at the Oscars. Who is the other?

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After Argentina, no other South American country has had as strong a performance at the Academy Awards as Brazil.

The South American nation has grown as a center of great film over the last few decades and has made its presence known at the biggest awards show in the industry.

Brazil has managed 18 nominations at the big show, but has yet to win a single award. Brazil does have one film competing at the Oscars this year in the Best Documentary category. That film is "The Salt of the Earth," which is directed by the legendary Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.

In the Best Picture Category, the country has been represented in 1985 by "Kiss of the Spider Woman" which was the first Latin American and Brazilian Film nominated for Best Picture; there have only been three Latin American films nominated for Best Picture since then and all of them have come from Mexico. "Kiss of the Spider Woman" was produced by Francisco Ramalho Jr. and David Weisman and was directed by Argentine-born Brazilian Hector Babenco.

Babenco was also the first Brazilian nominated in the Best Director category for "Kiss of the Spider Woman," and the only other person to achieve the same feat was Fernando Meirelles for his work on the 2003 hit "City of God."

The country has had one representative in the acting category -- Fernanda Montenegro for her leading role in "Central Station" in 1998. She was the first Latin American Actress nominated in the Best Actress category and also set the milestone for being the first actress to be nominated for a Portuguese-speaking role.

Cesar Charlone is the country's only nominee in the Best Cinematography category for his work on "Child of God."

Brazil had not been represented in the Best Documentary Feature competition until 2011 when "Waste Land" landed a nod. "The Salt of the Earth" is the second documentary nominated in the category for Brazil.

Brazil's only representative in the editing category was Daniel Rezende for "City of God;" the film also landed a nomination for Braulio Mantovani for Best Adapted Screenplay. Of all the films nominated from Brazil, "City of God" leads the way with four nominations. The film was never nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003.

However, there are four films that were nominated in the category. In 1962, Anselmo Duarte's "Keeper of Promises" earned the first Brazilian nomination in the category. Brazil would have to wait over 30 years for the next nomination in the category in the form of Fabio Barreto's 1995 film "O Quatrilho." The wait for the next nomination would be far briefer as Bruno Barreto's 1997 film "Four Days in September" would get into the final shortlist. And a year later, "Central Station," directed by Walter Salles, would also get a shot at winning the Best Foreign Language film category. However, none of these films managed the victory.

Rounding out Brazil's nominations at the Oscars were the 2004 Animated Short contestant "Gone Nutty," directed by Carlos Saldanha, which was the first animated film directed by a Latin American to be nominated for the award. The country also notched nominations for two original songs in 1945 and 2011. In 1945, Ary Barroso got the nomination for his work on "Brazil"; he was the first Brazilian and Latin American songwriter to be nominated at the Oscars. In 2011, Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown got nominated for their song on "Rio."

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