×

Uruguay’s Lucia Garibaldi Prepares ‘The Last Queen’

PANAMA CITY — Uruguayan helmer Lucia Garibaldi is prepping her second feature after her debut pic, “The Sharks,” which swept  the 2018 San Sebastian Films in Progress awards and later premiered in Sundance, where she won best direction in the World Cinema Dramatic section.

“The Sharks” also recently won the Grand Prix Coup De Cœur at Toulouse.

Her next project is “La Última Reina” (The Last Queen), which participated in the Ibermedia Project Development Class.

Coming-of-age drama “The Sharks” features a powerful disruptive performance by first-time actress Romina Bentancur, who plays a 14-year old tearaway Rosina in a sleepy coastal town pervaded by simmering emotional and physical violence.

“She is the shark, the bad wild animal, she moves under the surface, she’s spontaneous and moves by instinct,” says Garibaldi. “I wrote the film seven years ago but it was only after I found the actress that it started to come to fruition. The hardest thing to do was to build the psychological complexity of the character. I wrote down lots of details and in the middle of the chaotic mess something came out. I wanted to make a film with a complex female character. Some people call her a psychopath. But I like her.”

Garibaldi cites as formative influences Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki and late Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, who said that “love is the result of understanding.”

The helmer says that “The Sharks” has a dry, wry humor, forcing us to laugh at terrible things, which some audiences don’t get. “I showed it in Brazil but they didn’t laugh at all. In Mexico they liked it, but didn’t laugh. At Sundance, they really got it. We were overwhelmed.”

Garibaldi says that her desire to create a spontaneous, disruptive character in a quiet coastal town is linked to the way that she sees Uruguay.

“There are no sharks in Uruguay, there are no poisonous snakes or wild animals. Just cows. Uruguay is a very calm country. Statistics suggest that it has one of the lowest rates of sexual activity in Latin America. Montevideo is a relatively small, quiet city on the coast. I tried living in Mexico City but it was far too chaotic for me.”

She added: “But there is something constraining about life in Uruguay, at an inner level, inside our heads. We have one of the highest percentages in Latin America of people who visit shrinks.”

“The Last Queen” is about an irreverent 30-year old woman who lives with her conservative mother, in a dystopian present-day, in which women are disappearing without anyone understanding how or why.

“It’s not a coming of age drama. It revolves around the woman’s relationship with her mother. She hides things from her, including her sexuality. Both women have repressed sexuality.”

Like “The Sharks,” Garibaldi says that she aims to produce a drama that also works as a subtle comedy and cites, as one of her inspirations for the new pic, Carlos Saura’s 1976 drama, “Cría Cuervos” (Raise Ravens), starring Geraldine Chaplin, which is based on the Spanish expression: “Raise ravens, and they’ll tear your eyes out.”

Looking ahead she says that it’s very difficult to build a film career in Uruguay, but hopes that “The Last Queen” will consolidate interest in her work.

“One day this may change with opportunities from streaming platforms such as Netflix, But there are no such opportunities at present.”

Finally she says that she enjoys being at Panama but that it’s radically different from Uruguay: “The color. The heat. It’s like being on Mars!”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Inside an Inox Leisure multiplex in

    India's Inox Multiplex Chain Reveals Ambitious Growth Plans

    Indian multiplex chain Inox Leisure has revealed ambitious plans to more than double its existing screen capacity of 600. The company is planning to add 900 more screens across the country over the next decade. “That’s the realistic answer, but my desire is to do it over the next five years,” Siddharth Jain, director, Inox [...]

  • Joker

    Why 'Joker' Is About All of Us (Column)

    Take a look at the photo above. It’s the most poetic image to have emerged from Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” and the reason I say “poetic” isn’t just because the shot has that caught-in-action indelible vibe of a quintessential movie poster: graphic, hauntingly composed, a bit shocking (at least, the first time you see it). It’s [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Rules International Box Office With $117 Million

    Though Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” stumbled at the domestic box office, the Angelina Jolie-led sequel enjoyed a far stronger start overseas. The follow-up to 2014’s fantasy adventure inspired by the “Sleeping Beauty” villain took off with $117 million from 56 international markets. In North America, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted with a meager $36 [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Dominates With Soft $36 Million

    Five years after Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantress has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” a sequel to 2014’s fantasy adventure based on the “Sleeping Beauty” sorceress, flew lower than the original and debuted to a disappointing $36 million from 2,790 [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content