You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sundance: Silva returns to fest with two pix

Both 'Crystal Fairy,' 'Magic Magic' topline Michael Cera

Who: Sebastian Silva, writer/director
What: “Crystal Fairy” and “Magic Magic”
Where: “Crystal Fairy” — Friday at 4:00 p.m. at Redstone Cinema 2; “Magic Magic” — Saturday at Midnight at the Egyptian

Director Sebastian Silva returns to Sundance after his breakout film “The Maid” won the world dramatic competition at Sundance in 2009, two years before his other movie “Old Cats” screened out of competition. The Chilean filmmaker has two movies starring Michael Cera at this year’s festival – “Magic Magic” and “Crystal Fairy,” the latter of which is an acquisition he says was “a little miracle” that resulted from a delay on the former picture.

“We were in Santiago, Chile waiting for ‘Magic Magic’ to come together. Michael had already been there for three months and I knew I could just make it with my brothers. The story was always in the back of my mind because it happened to me and a friend of mine. We didn’t even have a screenplay, so it was largely improvised. We wrote an outline and knew every scene, but there wasn’t much dialogue written, so Michael came up with a lot of stuff. ‘Crystal’ isn’t really a ‘movie movie.’ It’s a really lucky, fun happening that was filmed,” explained Silva.

“The way they were made and planned was so different. With ‘Crystal Fairy,’ you never turned off the digital camera or said ‘cut.’ You’re just capturing life. Who wouldn’t enjoy that kind of filmmaking? There’s less pressure and more fun. It’s a very straightforward, linear story. There’s nothing really avant-garde or experimental about it. If you went to Kim’s Video [in New York], it’d be in the comedy section,” Silva said of “Fairy,” which UTA is selling domestic rights to at Sundance.

It’s a road trip movie. We were like, what about this restaurant? Can we film here? We’ll pay you and buy your food! But ‘Magic Magic?’ That’s much darker,” warned Silva, who said he was especially excited about this year’s festival.

“I got influenza the first time I was at Sundance. Everyone is coughing on each other in those little bars and everyone looks like shit in their parkas. But I enjoy answering most of the questions at the Q&As, and I’m looking forward to this particular festival because it’s stuff I’ve been working on for three years,” explained Silva. Helmer also planned to go snowboarding with his brothers, who star in “Crystal Fairy.”

“Michael watched ‘The Maid’ one winter’s day in New York and he loved it, so he reached out and we met in L.A. We promised to collaborate one day and became really good friends. He’s always playing the same quirky, shy kid which is something they tend to do — stereotype actors. We take him out of that character, and I was impressed by his skill and intelligence. We had great fun.”

As for what’s next, Silva said he is writing a larger-scale family thriller titled “Captain Dad,” as well as a little movie he’s been trying to make forever about an eight year-old homosexual who falls in love with his godfather. That may sound like a challenging premise, but Silva has proven himself capable of delivering the unexpected.

One in a series of profiles on filmmakers and talent from the Sundance Film Festival 2013.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Anne Hathaway Modern Love

    Anne Hathaway Talks Mental Health Awareness, Playing a Bipolar Woman on Amazon's 'Modern Love'

    In Amazon Prime’s upcoming “Modern Love,” Anne Hathaway sheds light on an important facet of living with mental health issues, playing a bipolar woman who struggles with dating. “We’re all becoming more sensitive, wiser and more cognizant of gentility, and especially emotional gentility. I think those conversations are starting to happen. And I think the desire [...]

  • Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron.

    Charlize Theron Could Win Second Oscar for Playing Megyn Kelly in 'Bombshell'

    Charlize Theron walked on stage before a screening of “Bombshell” at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center on Sunday night and announced to the crowd, “I’m about to s— myself.” The Oscar winner had good reason to be nervous. The screening of the Jay Roach-directed drama about the fall of Fox News boss Roger Ailes was [...]

  • Charlize Theron speaks at the GEANCO

    Charlize Theron Talks 'White Privilege,' Growing Up During Apartheid in South Africa

    Charlize Theron, during an onstage discussion with her “Gringo” costar David Oyelowo about philanthropy at Thursday’s annual fundraiser for Nigerian children’s educational and health program GEANCO, said she was a beneficiary of “white privilege” while growing up in Apartheid-torn South Africa. “I obviously am a white person who benefited from my white privilege,” Theron said [...]

  • Lyliana Wray, Sam Ashe Arnold, Miya

    ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ Revival Team on Living Up to the Series’ Legacy

    The 2019 revival of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” centers around the Carnival of Doom, a place that star Jeremy Ray Taylor (“It Chapter Two”) describes as “beautiful on the outside, but…in the middle of it, there are definitely dark secrets. Variety caught up with the young star during a carnival-themed celebration at Row DTLA [...]

  • Charlize Theron'The Addams Family' film premiere,

    Charlize Theron Speaks Immigration, Diversity in ‘The Addams Family’

    They’re creepy, they’re kooky, and they’re an allegory for immigration in America.  Charlize Theron discussed the changing face of the nuclear family and her animated film, “The Addams Family,” with Variety at the movie’s recent premiere at the Century City Mall in Los Angeles. “When you think of [the Addams] being around since the sixties, [...]

  • Emma Stone attends the Los Angeles

    Emma Stone Talks 'Cruella' Transformation, New 'Zombieland' Sequel

    Despite inevitable comparisons to Glenn Close’s iconic turn as Cruella de Vil in 1996’s “101 Dalmatians,” Emma Stone teased that her take on the infamous villain in the upcoming “Cruella” movie will be very distinctive. “It comes long before her story,” Stone told Variety at the premiere of “Zombieland: Double Tap” at the Regency Village [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content