‘Clara Sola’ by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén '19 Wins at Les Arcs Film Festival 2021

BY Felix van Kann, February 9, 2021

Clara Sola, a feature film co-written and directed by alumna Nathalie Álvarez Mesén '19, won the TitraFilm Award in the Work in Progress competition at the 12th edition of the Les Arcs Film Festival in January 2021. The film took the edge over ten other projects to secure a 10.000 Euro prize of post-production services for image and/or sound.


According to the festival’s jury, Clara Sola is "An enchanting debut that explores sexuality and spirituality with poetry and grace, crossing the boundaries between realism and magic."


The film plays in a mountain village in Costa Rica. Clara, a withdrawn 42-year-old woman, takes off on a journey to break free from social and religious conventions and become the master of her sexuality and newfound powers. Clara Sola is currently in post production. 


Nathalie Álvarez Mesén is a Costa Rican-Swedish screenwriter and director. An alumna of the Berlinale Talents, TIFF Filmmaker Lab, NYFF Artist Academy, Cine Qua Non Lab and Talents Guadalajara, she has written and directed films which have screened at prestigious film festivals all over the world. Her short film Filip was awarded Best Live-Action Film Under 15 Minutes at the 2016 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, and her short film Asunder screened at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival and was curated by Barry Jenkins as part of their "Calling Cards" program. Both Asunder and her short film Letting Go have been selected as Vimeo Staff Picks. Most recently, Mesén co-wrote the Colombian short film, Entre tú y Milagros, winner of the Orizzonti Award for Best Short in the Venice Film Festival 2020.


The Les Arcs Film Festival has become a major cultural event with a focus on the promotion of Europe and of the many talents the continent has to offer. Located in the Alps, the festival offers an ambitious programme with mostly French premieres. About 120 films, all European (Turkey and Russia included), were screened this year.