Alejandro Amenabar's The Sea Inside will represent Spain in the race for aforeign-language Oscar nomination.

Sea (Mar Adentro)beat out Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education (La Mala Educacion) and Jose Luis Garci's Tiovivo C.1950, the other two semi-finalists selectedby the Spanish Academy.

Spain's most international director, Almodovar lostout on the 2002 nomination with his last film, Talk To Her (Hable Con Ella), as well. That film went on to earn best directorand original script Oscar nods, winning in the latter category.

Sea's USdistributor, Fine Line, is expected to campaign for nominations in all the maincategories. The film won the grand jury prize and Volpi Cup for best actor forJavier Bardem at the recent Venice International Film Festival.

Sea is Spain'stop-grossing local release so far this year, with more than Euros 12m at thelocal box office. It has received rave reviews, particularly for star Bardem,who infuses charisma and humour into his performance as a paralysed manfighting for his right to die. The script is based on a real-life story whichmade headlines around the world.

Sogepaq has sold the title to most of the world, with 20thCentury Fox most recently picking up all Latin America.