For the first time in 20 years, a Chilean film has been selected to compete at the Berlin International Film Festival. Gloria, the latest from director Sebastián Lelio, will have its world premiere in Berlin during the February 7 through 17, 2013 event. The film opens in Chile on May 9.
Sebastián Lelio is a graduate of the Escuela de Cine Chile, or Chile’s Film School, and has directed celebrated films such as La Sagrada Familia (2005), Navidad (2009), and El Año del Tigre (2011). His work has been featured in many festivals including Cannes, Toronto and San Sebastián. Lelio was also selected to participate in the selective Résidence du Festival at Cannes, a four month filmmaking program in Paris for young directors.
Starring Chilean actors Paulina García and Sergio Hernández, Gloria follows the story of a lonely 58-year-old divorced woman who is looking for a new direction in life – a life better than one spent night after night in front of the television.
The character is very relatable, according to Lelio.
“It’s a very simple story, one that could happen right beside our homes, maybe it’s happening to the woman driving the car next to you, or that lives in front of you. She is 58 years old, and is alone against the world, with a pisco sour in her hand. There is tragicomedy in her life,” Lelio told La Tercera.
The part of Gloria was written specifically for the actress Paulina García by Lelio and Gonzalo Maza, who wrote the film. For García, the role was all-encompassing.
“When I got into this movie, it was like diving in headfirst for many months with no exit. It was like I entered the planet of Gloria. I only came back to reality after the end of the shoot,” the actress told La Tercera.
Other Chilean films in 2013 festivals
Gloria’s acceptance at Berlin marks the third Chilean film to be selected to compete in international film festivals in the coming months. Il Futuro from director Alicia Scherson and Crystal Fairy from director Sebastián Silva will both be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, which runs from January 17 to 27.