Antonio Banderas' search for an elusive Oscar nomination took one step in the right direction on Thursday when it was announced that the film Dolor y Gloria (Pain and Glory in English) was to be the Spanish candidate for the 2020 Academy Awards.
The film, directed by Pedro Almodóvar, was chosen by the Spanish Film Academy as its nomination for the Best International Feature Film category, that is, a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.
From the longlist, ten finalists will be shortlisted, with the final five nominees set to be announced in January 2020.
Dolor y Gloria was released in Spain in March and was subsequently shown at the Cannes Film Festival. There it was nominated for the Palme d'Or prize and Banderas came away with the award for Best Actor.
The Malaga-born actor has received critical acclaim for what many are calling his best work in the past decade, placing him in a good position, according to some, to finally claim an Oscar.
Banderas celebrated the nomination in New York where he is making final preparations for the launch of A Chorus Line at the Teatro del Soho Caixabank de Malaga in October.
For Almodóvar, he will be going for his third Oscar after having triumphed with Todo Sobre Mi Madre and Hable Con Ella in 1998 and 2001, respectively.
However, ahead of his trip to Canada to present the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, the director admitted: "It won't be easy to be among the final five because there is a lot of competition."
Nonetheless, he admitted it was "an honour".