Crystal Fairy and Il Futuro fly flag for Chile at Sundance

New films from Chilean directors Sebastián Silva and Alicia Scherson join Pablo Larrain’s critically acclaimed drama No at the United States’ biggest film festival. 

As was the case in 2012, Chilean film looks set for an impressive season in 2013. Last month the country’s movie industry was chosen to take center stage at next year’s Locarno Film Festival, and now a pair of Chilean movies will be the only Latin American productions to feature in the World Cinema category of the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
Crystal Fairy
Set for it’s screen debut at the festival, Crystal Fairy was written and directed by Chilean director Sebastián Silva and stars Michael Cera, of Superbad fame. The movie follows Jamie (Cera), who invites a total stranger on a road trip through Chile.
«It’s about this woman named Crystal Fairy who’s this hippie strange woman,” Cera said on a Marc Maron WTF podcast. “And she’s in Santiago and so am I. And I’m this American also and we meet and…it’s so funny describing it out loud. It’s kind of a meandering movie, there’s not really a thrust to it.»
The low budget movie took just twelve days to shoot, and is one of two films to come out of the unlikely Cera/Silva partnership, the unnamed second being in post-production.
«What’s fun is to find a director who has no preconceived notion of what using me means,» Cera said. «Whereas here (in the U.S.) I feel like if someone’s putting me in a movie and putting money into it, it’s maybe because they’re expecting a certain thing. But (Silva) doesn’t have that. It’s nice to work with a director who doesn’t care about your career arc, and is just using you in any way he finds amusing.”
Silva, who was born in Santiago and is a former hip-hop artist, shot to prominence after taking home two Sundance awards for the Golden Globe nominated La Nana (The Maid), a dark comedy he directed and wrote about the relationship between a housekeeper and a privileged family living in Santiago.
Il Futuro
Written and directed by Chilean Alicia Scherson, Il Futuro (The Future) will also be making its world screen debut at the festival. The film is based on the Roberto Bolaño novella Una Novelita Lumpen, a dark tale about two Chilean teenagers in Rome dealing with the sudden death of their parents.
Scherson won several awards including Best New Director at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005 for Play, a film that explores the relationship between an elderly man and his young Mapuche caretaker in Santiago.
Pablo Larraín’s highly acclaimed film No, set in Chile during Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s regime, will be playing at the festival’s Spotlight selection, a program set aside for films of the previous year that enjoyed success on the festival route.
Sundance Film Festival will take place in Utah, U.S., between January 17-20. For the screen listing visit the festival’s website.