Larrain's movie is one of the numerous films on the shortlist to draw its story from real life, examining the creation of the opposition's advertising campaign before the election in 1988 that ousted Augusto Pinochet as leader of Chile. Starring Gael García Bernal as an adman drawn into the world of politics, "No" was shot using refurbished video cameras from that era to integrate more seamlessly with archival campaign footage.
"That was the biggest challenge, to create a fiction with the tools of documentary so people wouldn't know what they were looking at, if it was archival footage or something we shot," said Larrain. "After a few minutes you are in the story and you stop asking questions about how it was made and what is from where. You just jump into the story."
For the filmmakers of "Kon-Tiki" there was somewhat of the opposite problem, as their film is the story of Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 adventure sailing a raft across the Pacific Ocean, which has been the subject of numerous documentaries. Heyerdahl's own film of the journey, also called "Kon-Tiki," won the Academy Award for documentary, making him the only Norwegian to as of yet win an Oscar.
"We wanted to fill in the gaps," said Espen Sandberg, co-director of the new "Kon-Tiki" with Joachim Rønning. "Heyerdahl was more interested in science, but his film isn't so popular because people are so interested in migration patterns, it's because this is a great adventure. It's thrilling to ask yourself if you would dare to do that. And we want to tell that part of the story."