Here’s a first look at the trailer from “Rara,” the feature debut of Chilean Pepa San Martin which world premiered Feb. 13 at the Berlin Fest’s Generation Kplus, the sidebar for 4-14s. Generation’s two sections Kplus and 14plus—showcased 28 films this year.
Playing San Sebastian’s Films in Progress in trough-cut last September, “Rara” was rapidly picked up for international sales by Madrid-based Latido Films, a company which has seen success with Chilean cinema, selling, for example, Andres Wood’s “Violeta Went to Heaven,” a Sundance World Cinema Jury Prize winner.
“Rara” is the first feature produced by Santiago de Chile-based Manufactura de Películas. Buenos Aires’ Le Tiro Cine, which backed Nicolas Rosso’s “Animal’s Run,” co-produces.
A LGBT family drama, “Rara” turns on a family comprised by two daughters, their biological mom and her couple –another women. Pic is focused on Sara, “who’s almost 13 and whose world is quickly changing – she feels that her body is in permanent transformation, weird – and also her family, with her mom and her girlfriend, her dad and his new wife, even the kitten that her little sister wants to adopt,” said San Martin.
Set in Chile’s Vina del Mar, a tourist hub, “Rara” explores through Sara innocent eyes her ideas about her “non-standard” family and the attitude that her classmates and school principal begin to show towards her. Her father launches a custody battle following an insignificant incident.
“Rara” bows while a bevy of LGBT movies/TV skeins enjoy lartge prominence (think Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl,” Todd Haynes’ “Carol,” and Jill Soloway’s “Transparent”).
“I do not know whether circumstances are changing or not, but this trend is real. There’s still a long way to go. We shouldn’t forget that there are places in this world where homosexuality is considered a criminal offence. And that give us a large responsibility,” San Martin told Variety.
In part a coming-of-age tale, “Rara” depicts tacit family and community opposition to what Sara thought a perfectly normal life. “‘Rara’ targets family audiences. We find different characters in the story entering an unprejudiced teen’s life, opening up different dialogues with Sara,” San Martin added.
“Rara” cast includes teen newcomer Julia Lubbert, Mariana Loyola Ruz, (“La nana”) and Agustina Munoz (“Viola”).
First-timer Pepa San Martin won a 2011 Berlin Festival DAAD Short Film Prize and Best Short Film at the New York. Intl. Latino Film Fest with her short “La ducha.”
San Martin co-penned the script alongside Alicia Scherson, Chilean distinguished screenwriter-director. Scherson helmed the multi-prized 2005 “Play” – which scooped an Independent Camera at Karlovy Vary, Montreal Fest’s Glauber Rocha and best new narrative filmmaker at Tribeca – and “The Future,” inspired by the Roberto Bolano novel. “Future” bagged a KNF award at Rotterdam, a special jury prize at Seattle, and was selected for Sundance.
“We have known each other for a long time now. She has always been present in my development as a director. And my work as an assistant director allows me to have different points of view about cinema. That was and is my school,” San Martin said.
Latido’s packed and diverse 2016 lineup at the European Film Market includes Rajko Grlic’s “The Constitution,” Marc Recha’s “A Perfect Day for Flying,” Rodrigo Grande’s “At the End of the Tunnel,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “May God Save Us,” Leticia Dolera’s “Requirements to Be a Normal Person,” and Konstantin Bojanov’s “I Want to Be Like You,” among others.