Gabriela Sandoval, director and co-founder of Chilean production-distribution outfit Storyboard Media, and head of industry for the Santiago International Film Festival (SANFIC), was at this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival where her new Chilean label Cine Matriz struck deals with Nathalia Videla at Argentina’s Magma Cine and Griselda González at Be Revolution Pictures in Belgium on the company’s upcoming drama feature, “After Elena.” The companies join Storyboard Media on the production.
Directed by Shawn Gary, his second feature following the multi-award winning “Desierto Sur,“ the film tells the story of Roberto, a man in his seventies who has just lost the love of his life, Elena. The typically stoic character breaks down when forced to sell his business which stands in the way of the development of a new shopping center. To get away, Roberto plans a trip which is interrupted before it has the chance to begin when his children, now in their thirties with kids of their own, return home.
Adding to the allure of the production is an already impressive, confirmed cast, headed by one of Chile’s most recognizable and awarded actors Alfredo Castro (“The Club,” “Tony Manero”), Carolina Varleta (“Desierto Sur”) and Nicolás Zarate (“Amazon’s “El Presidente”).
Gray not only directs, but co-wrote along with Carla Stagno as script supervisor and standout Argentine screenwriter Fernando Castets (“El hijo de la novia,” “Culpables”).
The project has been buzzing since an early screenplay surfaced and interested partners began circling in 2018. Development was advancing well, a teaser was shot with some of the confirmed cast and plans were made to bring the project to the international marketplace but the COVID-19 situation paused those plans. Now, with San Sebastian hosting guests from around the world once again – last year’s event was live but few from Latin America were able to attend – things are moving once again and shooting is just around the corner.
“San Sebastian is the first industry event we’ve attended face-to-face since the Berlinale in 2020, and it was 100% worth it. We’ve already got financing from Chile, so now adding Argentina and Belgium allows us to close our financing structure and begin filming in Chile at the end of 2022,” Sandoval told Variety.
“On a personal level I’m excited to be working with Nathalia Videla at Magma Cine again, with whom we’ve previously developed several projects with which have all gone well. Now I’m looking forward to working with Griselda and growing the co-production relationship between Chile and Belgium,” she added.