Paraguay's most successful movie of all time will miss out on a chance to win an Oscar because the country doesn't have a selection committee recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Tana Schembori, the director of 7 Boxes- which has been seen by more people in the South American country than Hollywood blockbuster Titanic - asked the academy to make an exception for the movie.
But, according to a spokesman for the production, this did not happen.
"Unfortunately, this exception was not granted," Macarena Galindo said.
The film, which premiered in the capital Asuncion in August, has drawn 250,000 filmgoers, according to the firm Ultracine, which compiles data on film attendance in Latin America. By contrast, Titanic attracted 150,000.
"It was really a phenomenon... all cinemas were full," said entertainment journalist Maripili Alonso.
Set in a busy marketplace in Asuncion, the storyline centers around a teenager named Victor who is offered a 100 dollar bill to transport a mysterious parcel.
According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, countries can submit their best motion picture after its selection is made "by one organisation, jury or committee that should include artists and/or craftspeople from the field of motion pictures."
"A list of the selection committee members must be submitted to the Academy no later than August 1, 2012, except newly formed committees wishing to enter the competition for the first time, which must submit their paperwork to the Academy by April 1, 2012," it says on its website. * AFP