×

Laughs, thrills for Sundance winner

'Maid' director gets spate of new projects

After winning Sundance’s World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in 2009 with his sophomore feature “The Maid” (La Nana), Chile’s Sebastian Silva, who’s also an artist and musician, has proven to be quite a multifaceted talent, mastering the English language after just a few years in Canada and New York, and making his mark with a theatrical thriller and a shortform comedy.

“Silva perfectly understands the relevance of content over style, of truth over artifice,” says “The Maid” producer Gregorio Gonzalez. “He delivers his stories with honest and blunt blows, shot after shot, to an audience that can’t help but fall for his characters and immerse themselves in his narrative.”

Silva wrote and directed HBO comedy Web series “The Boring Life of Jacqueline,” which debuted this month, and recently wrapped an yet to be titled psychological thriller toplining Michael Cera, Juno Temple, Emily Browning and Catalina Sandino Moreno, which Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions snapped up for the U.S. and select international territories.

Popular on Variety

Working with Cera was made easier for the writer-director by having previously collaborated with the star on an under-the-radar road movie, “Crystal Fairy,” produced by Chilean shingle Fabula, which backed Silva’s first pic, “Life Kills Me” (La Vida me Mata). “It was a small, fun experiment and helped me to get to know Michael,” Silva says of “Crystal Fairy.”

Family has always been a key part of Silva’s life. His three brothers starred in “Crystal Fairy” while the youngest, Agustin, has a key role in the untitled thriller, and played the young boy in “The Maid,” which was shot in the family home.

For the thriller, Silva, his talent and crew were ensconced in a massive house in a secluded part of southern Chile for more than a month. “We were one big, happy family,” he recalls. “It felt like a reality show.”

His next project, appropriately enough: a family thriller.

More Film

  • Neon Acquires North American Rights to

    Neon Acquires North American Rights to Berlin Film Festival's 'Gunda'

    Neon has acquired North American rights to “Gunda,” directed by “Aquarela” helmer Viktor Kossakovsky and executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix. The film made its world premiere in the Encounters section of the Berlin Film Festival. It is one of the few films in the festival this year to have closed a U.S. distribution deal so [...]

  • The Woman Who Ran

    'The Woman Who Ran': Film Review

    Three distant mountains; three chatty encounters between long-acquainted women; three comically tiresome intrusions from self-important men shot only from behind. Prolific South Korean arthouse staple Hong Sangsoo has dealt in playful, internally rhyming triplicate before, but never with such a gently sardonic female focus, and seldom as straightforwardly as in his airy, charming Berlin competition [...]

  • Trom

    REinvent Studios Enlists ZDF/Arte for Faroese Drama 'Trom' (EXCLUSIVE)

    REinvent Studios, the Copenhagen-based company launched last year by former TrustNordisk CEO Rikke Ennis, has pre-sold the Faroese crime drama “Trom” to ZDF/Arte for Germany and France. ZDF/Arte will be co-producing the anticipated series which was pitched last year during the Co-Pro Series at the Berlinale Series forum. “Trom,” based on Jagvan Isaksen’s crime novels [...]

  • Lauren Sivan Katherine Kendall Caitlin Dulany

    Five Harvey Weinstein Accusers Break Down the Historic Verdict (EXCLUSIVE)

    Before being found guilty by a jury and handcuffed on his way to jail, Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct, harassment, assault or rape by at least 100 women. On Monday morning, the possibility of Weinstein being imprisoned seemed impossible, to some. How could one of Hollywood’s most powerful men end up behind bars? [...]

  • Saudi Runaway

    National Geographic Films Buys Documentary 'Saudi Runaway'

    National Geographic Documentary Films has bought the documentary “Saudi Runaway,” which follows a young woman in Saudi Arabia attempting to flee the country before her arranged marriage. The deal was announced on Tuesday prior to “Saudi Runaway” screening at the Berlin Film Festival. Directed by Susanne Regina Meures, the movie had its premiere in the World [...]

  • BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R)

    Gerard Butler, Daniel Bruhl, Tom Wlaschiha Attend Babelsberg Night in Berlin

    Actors Gerard Butler (pictured above with Soho House’s Dominic Hofer and Studio Babelsberg’s Christoph Fisser), Daniel Brühl and Tom Wlaschiha, who played Jaqen H’ghar in “Game of Thrones,” were among the guests at the Studio Babelsberg Night Friday at Berlin’s Soho House. Other actors at the party included Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Schuele, Elyas M’Barek, Iris [...]

  • Breaking through the glass

    Breaking Through the Lens Unveils Shortlist for Pitching Platform at Cannes

    Breaking Through The Lens, an initiative launched three years ago to promote emerging female directors, has unveiled the shortlist of projects vying to participate in the 3rd edition of its pitching platform set to take place during the Cannes Film Festival. The selected projects, which will be pitched to over 100 financiers and key industry [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content