BUENOS AIRES — The Sundance Festival announced its full 2018 line-up Wednesday. Nearly half of its World Dramatic Competition titles were from Latin America; maybe as eye-catching, one, “The Queen of Fear,” was written and co-directed by Argentina’s Valeria Bertuccelli.
Few Argentine actresses are more highly regarded at home or abroad to cognoscenti as Bertuccelli, “an actor who aces deadpan comedy with her eyes closed,” Variety wrote of her movies with Martin Retjdman (“The Magic Gloves,” “Silvia Prieto”), which proved her breakthroughs. and “A Boyfriend for My Wife,” which introduced her to a far broader audience, landing No. 1 at the box office for 2008.
But Bertuccelli has largely been associated with comedy. Co-directed by Fabiana Tiscornia, “The Queen of Fear” looks on paper at least like full-on drama, another departure, as Bertuccelli portrays an actress . almost certainly not a dead ringer – who, one month out from her long-awaited career milestone one-woman show has sunk into a panic which she has channelled in the past to prepare her roles. But news that a good friend in Denmark has gotten worse and faces terminal treatment prompts her to question what her priorities in life really are.
One woman’s battle “to be herself,” a synopsis reads, “The Queen of Fear” is produced by a prestige and powerful team of Rei Cine (“Zama”) and the Disney-back Patagonik, and co-produced by Marcelo Tinelli in association with Snowglobe. Having been made off the radar, “The Queen of Fear’s” world premiere at Sundance will be commanding attention in Bertuccelli’s native Argentina and beyond.