The Mole Agent continues its historic trajectory, having now clinched a top honor in Hollywood as the first time that a Chilean director and documentary has been selected as one of 15 best documentaries and the 15 best international films of the year leading up to the Oscar nominations. Almost a year after its world premiere at Sundance 2020, the film continues to dazzle audiences, critics, and members of the Academy with its poignant portrayal of an amateur detective.
“It is an honor that El Agente Topo has taken this first big step on its way to the Oscar”, said Alberdi, adding that “in a year that has really challenged us as a team in terms of raising international visibility without leaving our homes, there’s no doubt that this is truly unprecedented recognition of a Chilean documentary in Hollywood. We are representing our country and we are excited to see and hear how the international industry has been moved by the film, and how it has been able to put social issues on the agenda ”.
This comes in addition to its nomination for Best Ibero-American Film at the Goya Awards in Spain, after being selected by a broad majority of the members of the Film Academy of Chile to represent Chile at the Goyas and the Oscars. It has also been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and been chosen by the National Board of Review of the United States as one of the five international films of the year, among many other accolades.
Alberdi is known for her particular cinematographic style, characterized by the intimate portrait of small worlds, a distinctive talent that has led her to become one of the most important voices in documentaries in Latin America and the world. She has written and directed three feature films: Los Niños, La Once and El Salvavidas (The Children, The Eleven, and The Lifesaver), and three short films: No soy de aquí , Los peluqueros and Los Artistas del trapecio (I’m not from here, The Hairstylists, and The Trapeze Artists).
What does it mean to be part of the 15 best documentaries and the 15 best international films of the year?
This step towards the Oscars is decided upon by the Academy, a global community of more than 9,000 of the industry's leading artists, filmmakers, and executives. A month before the official nominations in which 5 films are selected in each category, 15 films are selected in each section and named best of the year. The Mole Agent is one of 15 documentaries out of 240 to be picked for this list, while in the International Feature Film category it competed with 93 titles. Now it will enter a phase that consists of a month of campaigning before the official nominations are announced on March 15th.
This is an important step toward an Oscar nomination and only three Chilean feature films have ever made it this far: Machuca (Andrés Wood); No (Pablo Larraín) and Una Mujer Fantastica (A Fantastic Woman) (Sebastián Lelio).
Alberdi's film also follows the footsteps of A Fantastic Woman (Sebastián Lelio), the first Chilean film to win an Academy Award for Best International Film in 2017, and A Bear Story (Gabriel Osorio), 2014 winner for Best Animated Short Film. The Oscar nominations will be announced on March 15th.