Oscars 90: A Fantastic Woman and the New Wave of Chilean cinema

Rocío Jadue, executive producer of the film, tells Hot Corn about her incredible journey

Almost ten years ago The Maid, of the Chilean director Sebastián Silva was released. The film refreshes the Chilean cinema panorama, proposing more intimate subjects and with a certain different humor from what existed. It had a good reception abroad, achieving Sundance festival’s Grand Jury Prize and been nominated for the Golden Globe in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Have also appeared many others films that have had a very positive impact both domestically and abroad. For example: To Kill a Man by Alejandro Fernández A., Gloria by Sebastian Lelio, and The Club, Neruda or Jackie by Pablo Larraín, among others.

Sebastian Lelio and Daniela Vega on the set of A Fantastic Woman.

This indie cinema seems to be encountering a more mainstream vocation. No, Pablo Larraín’s film  compited in the Oscars 2013 as best foreign film; Bear Story by Gabriel Osorio obtained an Oscar as the best short-film in the year 2016. Now the feeling in Chile is that a second Oscar could come. These days, A Fantastic Woman by Sebastián Lelio is a serious candidate to win the Oscar’s best foreign movie. This meeting point between “auteur” and massivity has been reflected for example on the programming of the prestigious The Film Society of the New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. A few weeks ago, at the same time, shared space on the billboard of that important cultural place, the consecrated chilean director Raúl Ruiz and A Fantastic Woman.

Daniela Vega in another scene.

As a co-production between Germany, Spain, US and Chile – represented by Fábula of the Larraín brothers (Pablo and Juan de Dios)-, is competing at the Oscars 2018. A Fantastic Woman deals with a transsexual protagonist that suffers Chile’s intolerance. Marina is played by the trans actress Daniela Vega, who actually will be also the first openly trans person presenting an Academy Award. Rocío Jadue, executive producer of the film, recalls to Hot Corn the following; “At the Berlinale last year we realized the real impact (Best screenplay award) the film is producing, and, from there on, its success has not stopped (Goya award as best Ibero-American film). The film has been shown in many other countries. After the Oscars, others platforms like streaming will be considered. Daniela had to learn how to drive, dance and sing salsa. It was a especially intense pre-production effort with her, whom, deep down, is the film itself…”

  • Take a look inside the world of A Fantastic Woman with Matthew Herbert’s score:

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