SANTIAGO, Chile — Dissatisfied with the way that females are represented in horror films, a group of filmmakers from Latin America and Spain have teamed up to create a new narrative of five short stories – each playing on a common theme, and each with a unique cast of actors and directors attached – in “28,” an in-development project presented as part of this week’s Santiago Lab at the Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic).
Created with participation from five countries – Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Spain – with an eye on picking up a sixth contributor from the U.S., and in negotiations with a Colombian team as well, the stories in “28” will play off the themes of the 28-day female cycle, paralleled with the four-week lunar cycle.
The segments will range from classic slasher-thriller to sci-fi musical to psychological drama, and each story feature a female lead meant to break the mold of the “damsel in distress” trope so common in the horror genre.
Teams of filmmakers and actors from the participating countries will come to Chile to film the script, written by Sandra Arriagada and produced by Lucio A. Rojas and Arriagada and their company, Factoria Fund.
From the film’s home territory of Chile, the first segment is a fantasy tale focusing on an 11 year old protagonist experiencing a significant transformation. Chilean film and TV actors Macarena Carrere and Daniel Antivilo.
Mexico’s contribution will be a classic slasher with a teenage protagonist. The section will be directed by Morbido Golden Skull winner Gigi Saul Guerrero, one of Latin America’s best-established female voices in horror.
A Spanish team will be responsible for bringing to life the sci-fi musical portion of the film, with a cast including Emilio Gavira, best known for his work in 2012’s Seville-set version of “Snow White” and actor-director Leticia Dolera, nominated for a Spanish Academy Goya Award for her directorial work on 2015’s “Requirements to be a Normal Person.”
A second Spanish team will film a psychological thriller with a more middle-aged cast, featuring Itziar Castro, a 2017 Goya nominee for her performance in Eduardo Casanova’s “Skins.”
The final, for now at least, section will come from the film’s Brazilian team, and is an apocalyptic thriller featuring lifetime Brazilian film and TV veterans Glória Pires and Gracindo Júnior, as well as Leandro Firmino, best known as Lil Zé in the four-time Academy Award-nominated “City of God.”
“Six stories, six moon phases, six women in unique life moments. From a young trans girl to an woman at the end of her fertile life, ‘28’ is the first horror/fantasy/sci-fi anthology written and directed exclusively by woman from all of Ibero-America,” Arriagada explained to Variety at Sanfic.
“At this moment we are in the development stage,” she continued, “and we will be participating in markets in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, France and more.”