Argentine multi-hyphenate Ana Katz, who’s worked in both theater and film, premieres her sixth feature, “The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet,” at Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition section. She’s no stranger to the Park City-based fest, having previously won its 2015 World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Prize in Screenwriting for her drama “My Friend From the Park” (“Mi Amiga del Parque”).
Variety snagged an exclusive first look at the official trailer from Katz’s new drama, which she opted to shoot in black and white in order to focus on her lead character Sebastian’s personal journey of discovery. “It was more of an intuitive decision; I wanted it to feel more intimate, with fewer distractions,” she explained. As Sebastian, played by Katz’s brother Daniel, flits from one menial job to another and experiences fatherhood, his otherwise mundane existence is rocked by a pandemic that forces people to wear bubble helmets. “I shot this over the course of three years, before the pandemic struck, so it’s not as if I knew COVID-19 would happen,” said Katz, who laughs about wearing the bespoke helmet when she goes to the supermarket now.
She drew inspiration for the title from essay “Los Cinco Minutos Te Hacen Florecer” by Chilean artist-writer-activist Pedro Lemebel. The first rather comical scenes in “Dog” begin with diffident neighbors politely approaching Sebastian about his dog’s incessant barking and him losing his job because he brings it to work. In her director’s statement, Katz admits that some of the film’s images have been with her for years: “For example, people who move around in a squatting stance, a meteorite falling to Earth or the crying of a dog.”
“I was guided more by emotions and intuitive reflection rather than by the convention of how a script is written,” she said. Luxbox handles international sales.
Katz is developing her next film, which she describes as a femme action-suspense drama, titled “Aguilas Plateadas (“Silver Eagles”), while she continues to work as an actress: “It gives me the opportunity to travel in other people’s journeys,” she said.