Maintaining Chile’s protracted awards honeymoon with international festivals, Jorge Riqeulme’s “Some Beasts,” starring Alfredo Castro and Paulina Garcia, swept Toulouse’s 35th Films in Progress, a pix-in-post competition which also serves as a traditional launch-pad for selection at the Cannes Festival.
Mactari awarded its Sound Prize to “Ceniza negra,” from Argentine-Costa Rican Sofía Quirós.
“Some Beasts” stars maybe the two most best-known of Chilean actors: Castro, a Pablo Larraín regular (“Tony Manero,” “Post Mortem,” “No”) seen last year in Alfonso Ruizpalacios’ Berlin winner “Museo”; and García, a Berlin best actress winner for “Gloria,” from Academy Award winning director Sebastián Lelio (“A Fantastic Woman”), which inspired his 2018 remake, “Gloria Bell,” with Julianne Moore. García also appeared in Ira Sachs’ “Little Men,” and, like Castro, “Narcos.”
A drama-thriller exposing the simmering tensions and secrets of a seemingly ordinary Chilean family and through this Chile at large,”Some Beasts” sees Alejandro (Castro) and Ana (García) taking their family for a vacation to a remote island in South Chile which Alejandro has determined to buy.
But Nicolás, who ferried them from the mainland, disappears, leaving the family trapped in near Antarctic cold, without water. Tempers fray, tensions rise, an old family secret exposes its darkest side, and that of humanity at large.
Produced by Riquelme’s Santiago de Chile-based Laberinto Film label, the film’s title echoes Chilean Nobel Peace Prize winner Pablo Neruda’s famed poem in his “Canto General,” depicting a world of animals – the iguana, puma, anaconda – ruled by non-human instinct.
“The family is a reflection of society. Chile will be there from the way teens now relate on social media to its class-system and double standards,” Riquelme has said. “Horror and the thriller genre will mix with pure reality because the greatest perversions are in human beings,” he added.
Backed by some of Europe’s most prestigious institutions – it won a Berlin World Cinema Fund award, was selected for Cannes Critics’ Week’s 2017 Next Step workshop – “Ceniza Negra” turns on the attempts of a 11-year-old girl living on an island off Costa Rica to keep her family together as her aged grandfather ails. Costa Rica’s Sputnik lead-produces in co-production with Argentina’s Murillo Cine, France’s Promenade Films and Chile’s La Post Producciones.