Daniel Monzon’s successful prison drama Cell 211 has been selected as one of three potential candidates to represent Spain for the foreign-language Oscar, alongside Andrucha Waddington’s romantic period drama Lope and Iciar Bollain’s Even The Rain.

All three films star Luis Tosar.

Monzon’s Cell 211 about a prison guard (Alberto Ammann) having to cope on his first day with a prison riot led by Tosar’s character has already won eight Goya awards, taken an impressive $20m in Spain through Paramount and been sold all over the world, including to IFC in the US where it took $5m.

Waddington’s $20m epic Lope follows the early life adventures of 16th century Spanish playwright Lope De Vega, played by Ammann, as he struggles to make a name for himself on the theatre circuit and is torn between his love for two women.

The Spanish-Brazilian co-production screened at both Venice and Toronto and has already taken $3m in its first few days at the box office in Spain.

Finally, Bollain’s drama Even The Rain, which also premiered at Venice and is set to screen at Toronto, is written by Paul Laverty (The Wind That Shakes The Barley) and stars Gael Garcia Bernal as a director making a film about Christopher Columbus’ controversial arrival in the Americas, but who gets caught up in the modern day troubles of the privatization of water in Bolivia where he is filming.

The Spanish Film Academy will make a final decision on which of the three films will be selected to represent Spain on September 28.