Chile’s pioneering fantasy/horror filmmaker Jorge Olguin, whose latest feature “Análogos” recently won the jury prize at the 51st Curtas Festival do Imaxinario in Galicia, Spain, is venturing into series-making for the first time.
Backed by CNTV, Chile’s National Television Council, the series “Kalkutún: Trial of the Witches” will be participating in Ventana Sur’s SoloSerieS and Blood Window sections, thanks to a pact between CNTV and Ventana Sur, Latin America’s most prominent film and TV event.
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Inspired by real events, ‘Kalkutún: Trial of the Witches’ is a gripping tale set in 1879 on Chile’s enigmatic Chiloé Island. The brutal murder of a supposed witch, Andrés Netor, triggers a unique legal process. Young prosecutor José González is tasked with investigating the witches of ‘La Recta Provincia.’ As he delves into their world, his rationality and sanity are challenged by the indigenous witches’ trials and the island’s chilling worldview.
According to Olguin, pre-production for the four-episode series has been ongoing for nearly a year. “Since it’s a period series, we’ve been building sets, working on the costumes etc. since February, at least,” said Olguin who previously shot on the island of Chiloe for his fantasy-horror film, “Caleuche.” “There have been quite a lot of projects shot there in recent times so now the island has local production services, more hotels and even a casino,” Olguin told Variety.
Olguin’s producing partner Carol Campos co-created the series with Olguin.
“Análogos” is a departure for Olguin, who has focused, for the first time, on a dramatic, intimate storyline instead of delivering the kind of fantasy, horror genre tale he pioneered in Chile.
The film, which blends drama with science fiction, revolves around Blanca and José, a lonely elderly couple whose television-watching routine is disrupted by an astronomical phenomenon. Blanca suffers from a degenerative illness and relies on José for everyday tasks, and the loss of TV signal further impacts their lives.
As the Curtas Festival jury explained in awarding the jury prize to “Análogos”: “The world outside is gradually falling apart, just as the small world at home has been doing for a long time: ‘Análogos’ is anchored in the genre of the fantastic disaster movie and focuses on an old married couple. The harshness of dementia is juxtaposed with the difficulty of finding one’s way in a society one no longer understands.”
“In a subtle, sensitive way, ‘Análogos’ uses the development of entertainment technology as a metaphor for growing old. Everything continues to evolve, while everyday life, which is becoming increasingly difficult and lonely, is heading towards an inevitable end. Influenced by the coronavirus pandemic, ‘Análogos’ avoids accusations and presents itself as an intense, strongly acted drama. Authentic, desperate and filled with love,” it added.
The teaser trailer, shared exclusively with Variety, is marked by soaring orchestral music which contributes to a feeling of dread as an old man looks out the window to see a comet hurtling towards earth.
It stars Chilean actors Mónica Carrasco, Jorge Gajardo (both in “Los Venegas” series), and Peruvian actress Cindy Díaz (“Rosa Chumbe”).
“Análogos” is a co-production between Olguín Films and Vía X Films, with support from the 2023 Audiovisual Promotion Fund. Luis Venegas executive produced.
Andes Films is releasing the film on Jan. 25 next year.
Ventana Sur runs from Nov. 27 – Dec. 1.
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