The Spanish Film Academy has selected multi award-winning director Iciar Bollain’s drama Even The Rain to represent Spain for the foreign-language Oscar, beating off competition from prison drama Cell 211 and historical romantic epic Lope.

Even The Rain had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and stars Gael Garcia Bernal as a director who goes to Bolivia to make a film about Christopher Columbus’ controversial arrival in the Americas, but gets caught up in the modern-day troubles of the privatization of water.

Spanish actor Luis Tosar also stars in the film, which is written by Paul Laverty (The Wind That Shakes The Barley) and produced by Juan Gordon at Morena Films, whose other film Cell 211 was expected to be chosen after it picked up eight wins at the Goyas earlier this year and took an impressive $20m at the Spanish box office through Paramount.

Andrucha Waddington’s Lope, which also stars Tosar, alongside rising star Alberto Ammann, is also performing well at the Spanish box office having taken $3.2n since its release on September 3.

Even The Rain will be released in Spanish theatres through Alta Films on January 7, 2011.