Mexico has selected Carlos Carrera's crime thriller Backyard as its foreign-language Oscar contender for the 82nd Academy Awards.
Backyard centers on a young detective (Ana de la Reguera) determined to solve a series of murders committed against women in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.
Carrera is best known for directing the controversial drama The Crime of Father Amaro, starring Gael Garcia Bernal. Amaro grabbed an Oscar nomination in 2003 and is Mexico's highest-grossing film ever.
The Mexican film academy on Tuesday also chose Rodrigo Pla's period piece Desierto Adentro (The Desert Within) to vie for Spain's Goya award in the foreign picture category. Set against the backdrop of Mexico's Cristero War, the drama tells the story of a family struggling to overcome divine punishment.
Pla's first feature, The Zone, has won numerous awards on the festival circuit, including the International Critics' Prize at the Toronto film fest in 2007.