You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

Chilean Gay Film ‘You’ll Never Be Alone’ Wins Multiple Awards

Chilean Gay Film ‘You’ll Never Be Alone’ Wins Multiple Awards

“About
three years ago, a 20-year-old boy was murdered in Santiago because he was gay.
He was tortured for hours: his legs broken, a swastika carved on his stomach
using shattered bottles, a piece of his ear torn out. By coincidence, that
young boy was a fan of my work as a musician and I knew who he was because we’d
spoken a couple of times. I met his family and they urged me to continue
“speaking on behalf of boys like him”, not usually represented in the media or
even art: in short, a gay and poor kid.”

This
is what motivated Alex Anwandter, a widely acclaimed Chilean musician to make “You’ll Never Be Alone”/
“Nunca vas a estar solo
”.  However, he adds,

 “This
story, however, shifts its focus onto the father of the boy. This is my way of
saying: it was not one boy, it’s many boys and girls, and women and men. And
the life we should examine more carefully is not the boys’, it’s the rest of
us. We who allow this to repeat over and over.”

Born
in Santiago, Chile in 1983 Alex’s career as a musician started in 2005 to
immediate and widespread acclaim in Chile and South America. His first four
albums were released to critical and commercial recognition and subsequent touring
the U.S., Europe and Latin America, becoming one of Chile’s most renowned
artists.

Growing
up as a big cinephile, Alex Anwandter took to directing music videos for his
own projects and other artists in 2005.

Named
by TIME Magazine as an artist “poised for U.S. stardom”, his music

and
videos have been featured everywhere from Billboard to Vice Magazine and MTV,
with NPR celebrating his video for “Cómo puedes vivir contigo mismo?”, an
homage to “Paris is Burning”, for its courageous message of equality and
non-discrimination.

In
2012 Alex Anwandter started preparing a new phase in his career.

Moved
by the murder of young Daniel Zamudio, a gay boy murdered in a hate-crime in
Santiago and fan of his work, Anwandter wrote his first script “You’ll Never Be
Alone”. The film won both SANFIC’s and FICGuadalajara Work in Progress sections
in 2015.  In 2016 at its World
Premiere in the Berlinale’s Panorama it won the Teddy Award’s Special Jury
Prize and went on to win FICG’s Premio Maguey, its top LGBT Award.

In Guadalajara I caught up
with the producer, Isabel Orellana Guarello of 
Araucaria Cine and asked
her the following questions:

Sydney Levine: How did you finance “You’ll Never Be Alone”?

Isabel Orellana Guarello: We
financed the shooting with private investment and sponsorship provided by the Recoleta
Municipality of Santiago and the association with the film school of University
of Development ( Escuela de Cine UDD) and Ortega Maniques.

After
the shooting we obtained help from the Postproduction Fund supported by Council
for the Arts & Culture of Chile (CNCA).There
was also an important amount of investment provided by 5AM Producciones &
Araucaria Cine, the companies that produced the film.

SL: Did you participate in pre-markets, workshops, etc.?

IOG: The
film participated in two competitions of work in progress, one in SANFIC
October 2014, just 2 months after we wrapped the shooting, and which we won. And
after that the film participated at Films in Progress at FICGuadalajara,where
we won two prizes provided by Retina HD and Red Melissa.

Also
the project participated at SANFIC NET and Industry Days of Locarno Film
Festival both in 2014 and 2015 as part of the catalogue of projects of
Araucaria Cine.

SL: How did you choose your actors?

IOG: For
the main character of Juan we directly contacted Sergio Hernandez, whom we loved
from previous collaborations with Raul Ruiz and Sebastián Lelio.

It
happened in the same way with other cast members such as Edgardo Bruna (the
boss of Juan), Antonia Zegers (the doctor) Camila Hirane (the bank executive).

For
the young cast we did an open call organized by Ivan Parra Reinoso, We searched
in several acting schools and finally reached out to Andrew Bargsted (Pablo) and her real-life best friend Astrid
Roldan (Mari).  Both had an amazing
chemistry between them.

In
the open casting call we also found Jaime Leiva (Felix, Pablo’s lover) and
Benjamín Westfall (Martin, the leader of the Nazi gang). 

All
together, they created an amazing casting of which we’re very proud.

SL: How did the producers come on board, and particularly Daniel Dreifuss
(my friend)?

IOG: I
met Daniel Dreifuss at SANFIC NET in 2014. I pitched the project to him since I
felt he could connect with this story and he definitely did.  Then he
finally came on board as Executive Producer of the film in 2015.

SL: Does the film have Chilean distribution and if so what is the plan?

IOG: The
film has already secured Chilean distribution and we’re expecting soon to have
the specific release dates. The film is gaining a lot of attention back in
Chile and audiences are waiting for it after its success at the Berlinale and
Guadalajara.

Does  it have an international sales agent?

IOG: Yes,
the international sales are handled by WIDE Management, a French company.  We actually met them at Films in
Progress 2014!

SL: How did you come to this
project?

IOG: I
came on board in February 2014, after meeting Alex through a common friend.
 

When
I read the script – that he’d been working for 2 years already-  I was
profoundly moved by it. We started working right away. The shooting was in July
2014, so everything was pretty fast.

SL: Does this depict Chile today?

IOG: Unfortunately
yes. Just the same day we received the Teddy Jury Award at Berlinale, a Chilean
transgender boy was shot and killed in San Bernardo, Santiago. His name was Marcelo
Lepe.

These
homophobic killings will continue to occur if there is not deeper reflection about
our society and our actions. That’s why we made “You’ll Never Be Alone”.

SL: Will this film go toward changing the situation?

IOG: We
hope so. We still believe that cinema can make strong change of hearts and
minds. So we’re eager to show the film in Chile and also Latin America, and
hopefully open some debates around the issues of homophobia and social
injustice depicted in the film.

 We
also have a plan with the Municipality of Recoleta to show the film at high schools
inside their Sexual Diversity Program, when we complete our commercial release.

It’s
very important to us that the film is discussed inside Chile and we’re making
all our best efforts for that to happen.

SL: What are your current and next projects?

IOG: The
director Alex  Anwandter is currently releasing his new album
“AMIGA” in April.  So new music videos and songs are coming up
from him.

About
me as producer, Araucaria Cine is currently producing a feature
documentary  with director Roberto Collio (“White Death”) and Rodrigo
Robledo, named “Petit Frère” which will compete at Focus Chile in Visions du
Reel 2016. Also
I’m developing a feature doc with Maria Jesus Valenzuela, “Interna.” Both
projects were funded by the Council of the Arts & Culture and CORFO Chile.

This Article is related to: Festivals and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,