The Heiresses was supported by Sørfond in 2016, and is a co-production between Paraguay, Germany, Uruguay, Norway, Brazil and France, with main producer La Babosa Cine in Paraguay.
The film received four prizes at the Berlinale this weekend: two Silver Bears, the FIPRESCI-award and The Readers Teddy Award. The Norwegian co-producer, Hilde Berg, is very pleased with the result from Berlin:
“It has been a fantastic opportunity for a film from such a small film nation to be selected for the main competition at the Berlinale. To travel back with four awards is amazing. The film’s presence at the festival has meant a lot, both in having it screened for a large international audience and the recognition from the awards it won. It has received great reviews, and is sold to several countries.”
The film’s director, Marcelo Martinessi, was interviewed in the Paraguayan newspaper El Pais about the films presence at the Berlinale this weekend;
"Paraguay has been decades of darkness, as far as cinema is concerned. There are hardly any independent productions and, what little has been done in recent years, is usually seen only in Paraguay, not outside. The Berlinale is a great screen for us, "
The film will have its Scandinavian premiere at the Films from the South-festival in November.
About The Heiresses
Chela and Chiquita, both descended from wealthy families in Asunción, Paraguay, have been together for over 30 years. But recently their financial situation has worsened and they begin selling off their inherited possessions. But when their debts lead to Chiquita being imprisoned on fraud charges, Chela is forced to face a new reality. Driving for the first time in years, she begins to provide a local taxi service to a group of elderly wealthy ladies. As Chela settles into her new life, she encounters the much younger Angy, forging a fresh and invigorating new connection. Chela finally begins to break out of her shell and engage with the world, embarking on her own personal, intimate revolution.
Paraguayan director and screenwriter. Studied communication at the Catholic University of Asunción and cinema at the London Film School. His short films that revolve around literature and memory have been shown at the Berlinale, Clermont Ferrand, Kinoforum among other festivals. He was executive director of the first public TV in his country from the beginning of the project in 2010 until the coup d'état of June 2012. Capturing his nation’s trauma during that political chaos he wrote and directed La Voz Perdida, Best Short Film at Venice Film Festival in 2016.
The Berlinale is a great cultural event and one of the most important dates for the international film industry. More than 334,000 sold tickets, more than 21,000 professional visitors from 127 countries, including more than 3,700 journalists.
The 68th Berlin International Film Festival was held from 15th to 25th February 2018.
Read more here.