The story of a woman rediscovering and re-inventing herself, Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria has connected with audiences around the world. The film, which stars Chilean actress Paulina Garcia, drew in around 143,000 viewers in Chile alone before impressing audiences and judges at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The female star took home the Golden Bear in Berlin as best actress. Her strong performance reflects the way the film was written, with Garcia always in mind.
“Before writing the script, we called her to ask her if we could write a movie for her, made to measure,” Lelio told La Tercera. “I had always wanted to work with her, she is a powerful actress. Paulina is Gloria, and Gloria is the movie.”
Now Chile hopes the movie will continue on this wave of success, submitting it for consideration in the foreign film category to the 2014 Oscars in the United States and the Premios Goyas in Spain next February.
“The selection of Gloria does nothing but strengthen Chile’s representation in the most important film festivals in the world,” Chile’s Culture Minister Roberto Ampuero said in the official announcement. “We are confident that, due to the high quality of its editing, performances, script and direction, will continue in the same streak as movies like Machuca, La Nana and No before it, showing the world the progress of our audiovisual industry as it did, for example, in the Berlin Festival.”
Last year, the Chilean film No directed by Pablo Larraín made a big splash at the Oscars, winning much acclaim despite not taking home the award for best foreign film. The movie, Chile’s first to be nominated in the category, is based on the unpublished play El Plebiscito, written by Antonio Skármeta centered around the vote to secure democracy in Chile in the 1980’s.
If nominated, Gloria will be up for an award in February at Spain’s Goya Awards, and in March at the Academy Awards in the United States.