Chile’s young filmmakers are stepping out into the international realm with English-language films. First among them is Chile’s terror maestro, Jorge Olguin, who has just made his first English-language movie, “Alone,” on the sly: He filmed the $700,000 thriller while waiting for thesp Leonor Varela (“Blade II”) to be free to star in his upcoming “Caleuche: The Call of the Sea,” a $6 million supernatural drama with Guillermo del Toro among its producers.
Olguin is one step ahead of his 24-year-old pal Nicolas Lopez, who is prepping his first English-language film for Salma Hayek’s new MGM-based shingle, Ventanazul. Aside from Olguin, Lopez is the only other helmer in Chile working in the fantasy/horror genre. He was an associate producer in Olguin’s “Sangre Eterna” and both hope to work together again one day. Lopez’s $15 million sci-fi comedy will also shoot in Chile.
Olguin is known in the region for his vampire movies “Angel negro” (Black Angel) and “Sangre eterna” (Eternal Blood), and “Alone” reps his most political film to date. But zombies also populate the pic, in which both children and the undead flee from murderous soldiers in a post-apocalyptic milieu. According to Olguin, “Alone” evokes the military coup and the horrors of the dictatorship in Chile during the 1970s, but it is also a universal vision of children as survivors of a holocaust.
“Alone” was supposed to follow “Caleuche,” but armed with some free time and the results of casting and location scouting for “Caleuche,” Olguin shot the film in nine days on digital high-def.
“I found my young actors while casting for English-speaking children for ‘Caleuche,’ ” Olguin recalls. He found working with children easier than he’d expected. “I felt like a kid again myself, playing war games,” says the 33-year-old helmer-scribe.
“Caleuche” will be shot mainly in Spanish, with some scenes in English. Shooting is skedded for early October on the Chilean island of Chiloe.
Hollywood has beckoned to Olguin as well. He was tapped to helm the adaptation of horror videogame “Clock Tower” but the project has been shelved for now. Other possibilities include an English-language remake of “Sangre eterna” at a studio.
But Olguin will likely stay closer to home with a project he has in development, “Dr. Mortis,” a wildly popular Chilean comic based on a 1950s horror radio program.