Carla Simon's debut won the Best First Feature Award at Berlinale.

The Spanish film academy chose Carla Simon's feature debut, Summer 1993, to represent the country in the foreign language category in the run up to the Oscars.

Summer won the Best First Feature Award at Berlinale, where it screened as a Generation Kplus hit.

The biographical story centers on a 6-year old girl sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her parents' AIDS-related death at a time when ignorance about the illness dominated society.

"I think the members chose Summer 1993 because it moved them," Simon said after the nomination was announced Thursday. "Sometimes with a film, you are left with the emotions of the piece. I suspect the universality of the subject also lured votes."

Produced by Barcelona-based Inicia Films and Madrid's Avalon Films which released it in Spain the Catalan-language drama has sold 96,300 admissions since its June 30 theatrical release. Starting Friday it will be rereleased in a dubbed version in Spanish in 16 theaters throughout Spain.

Summer beat Pablo Berger's Abracadabra and Salvador Calvo's 1898, Our Last Men in the Philippines, which had been shortlisted for the honor.