×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

San Sebastian: ‘Gloria’s’ Paulina García to Star in ‘Happiness’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Presented at San Sebastian’s Co-Production Forum, feature marks sophomore outing of Chile’s Pepa San Martín (‘Rara’)

SAN SEBASTIAN — Chilean actress Paulina García, winner of a Berlin best actress Silver Bear for Sebastian Lelio’s 2013 ”Gloria,” which inspired his Toronto hit “Gloria Bell,” with Julianne Moore, is attached to star in the second feature of Pepa San Martín, “Happiness.”

The project will be pitched at the 7th Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum of Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival.

The feature is produced by Macarena López at Santiago de Chile’s Manufactura de Películas, the same production outfit behind San Martín’s debut, “Rara,” which world premiered at 2016’s Berlin Fest Generation Kplus section, winning its Jury Grand Prix. It went on to take the Horizontes Latinos and Sebastiane Awards at San Sebastian the same year.

García praised San Martín’s debut and her capacity to build “new kinds of stories,” underscoring “it’s very difficult for an actress to find strong and challenging women roles nowadays, and even more for mature women. My character in ‘Happiness,’ depicting a woman in such an important a biological and mental stage, deeply attracted me,” she told Variety.

“Happiness” turns on Ana and Teresa, two lifelong friends from childhood, now in their sixties who regularly spend weekends together. They chose a comfortable coastal hotel. But Ana has some serious plans on her mind. She is ill, and decided not to take treatment for her illness. Teresa opposes Ana intentions. The end, she argues, can’t be like this.

“Rara” was a vivid, delicate portrait of a family of two mothers and two daughters. One more time, San Martin homes in on mature feminine characters in ‘Happiness.

“It is a tremendously under-represented universe. We miss a lot by not knowing about it. Nature, the body, old age, fear, the sea, friendship, death,” San Martín commented to Variety adding: “I want to build the world through which they travel, not via hyper-naturalism, but rather an interpretation of this world which is so rarely explored. It’s a movie that talks about life through death. The vertigo and the clarity that appears in those moments is what interests me.”

The screenplay is written by Alicia Scherson, one of Chile’s foremost women directors, Luz Croxatto and San Martín. The project is in development and has received a grant from the development fund of Chile’s Strategic Creative Program (Corfo).

“In my opinion good actors are always complex, intelligent people, keen observers of others and very empathetic with them, at the same time,” San Martín said about García. “Maybe that is what it takes to not only follow a screenplay, but really act it out. Paulina is exactly like that.”

San Sebastian’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum runs Sept. 23-26.

More Film

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content