Chilean budding-biologist-turned-filmmaker Alicia Scherson debuted her first film "Play" at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, where it took home an award for Best Director. She's at Sundancw with the World Dramatic Competition contender (her third feature-length film) "Il Futuro (The Future)."
What It's About: Il Futuro is about Bianca and her brother Tomas who are suddenly orphaned after their parents die in a car crash. They are teenagers, they are virgins, and they are all alone in the world. They welcome two strangers into their parents house in Rome and together they come up with a plan to get money: to steal from Maciste, an ex-Mr Universe living alone in an abandoned dark mansion.
And So It's Really About: Il Futuro is about finding weird ways of surviving tragedy so you can keep going after everything goes really wrong. It's also about old movies, tired heroes, ancient Rome, contemporary Europe, bodybuilders, hair-dressers and the future. It is a film about being young and alone but also about friendship and family. It's a a bizarre mourning trip, a clumsy, dangerous and somehow ridiculous adventure of two young kids with bad luck.
What's been your path to filmmaking? I was once a biology student who liked to go to the movies. I somehow became a filmmaker and film teacher. I have studied, worked and lived in Santiago, Havana, Madrid and Chicago. IL FUTURO is my third feature film after PLAY (2005) and TURISTAS (2009).
How was adapting from the famed author Roberto Bolaño? This is my first literary adaptation after writing always my own material. It's based on a Roberto Bolaño novel "Una novelita lumpen". This was clearly the biggest challenge not so much because it was hard to adapt -in fact the novel is full of images- but because everyone thought I should be very scared and intimidated. So I was.
Are there more films in your future? I have two original scripts I am working on: Romantica, a social comedy set inside a waxing salon, and Heidelberg, about a Philosophy Student trying to free himself from University and embrace the real world . I am also working on a documentary about my grandfather, a jewish immigrant in Chile who died in jail in the 50s.
What will you expect of Sundance audiences? I always want the audience to enjoy the experience of watching the film as one would enjoy a trip to an unknown place. Without expectations but with open eyes and ears. To feel and to think in equal proportions. To be surprised and excited. To laugh. To feel close to everything even if they know to be far-away. Overall, I want them to watch the whole thing without leaving the room or picking up their phones.
Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.
Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on January 17 for the latest profiles.