'Soy Sola' by Current Students Sets European Premiere
BY Felix van Kann, July 11, 2020
Soy Sola, a short film written and directed by current student Natalia Luque and co-produced by current students Aliza Brugger and Cecilia Otero, will have its European premiere at the Brussels Short Film Festival in September. Soy Sola has been selected as one of 62 films out of more than 4,000 submissions to compete in the International Competition. The festival will run from September 2 to September 12 and the winners of the Grand Prix in the International and National Competitions are considered for pre-selection for the Oscars. Additionally, Luque’s short film La Virgen, La Vieja, El Viaje, produced by alumna Marta Cruañas Compés '20, will screen at the SANFIC Film Festival in Chile next month where it will compete in the National Talent competition.
In Soy Sola, Margarita, 52, is a waxer who works in a mall in downtown Santiago, with her long lasting coworker Nelly. Day after day, she endures her hot flashes, an undeniable sign of a looming menopause. One day, she gets encouraged by her young client to pursue a love interest. The film won a place at the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Short Film Corner and already showed at the Bogoshorts Festival in Colombia, Havana Film Festival in Cuba and Rukapillan Festival and Valdivia International Film Festival in Chile. Luque also took home a DGA Student Film Jury Award in the category Best Latino Student Filmmaker in the Eastern Region for Soy Sola.
La Virgen, La Vieja, El Viaje tells the story of a Rocío, a Latin American woman who works as a janitor at a high school. The film focuses on how she, away from her family, finds a way to say the last goodbye to her grandmother, who is about to pass.
Natalia Luque is a Chilean director and screenwriter currently studying at Columbia University in the MFA Film program. During her time in Chile, Luque worked in several TV networks and directed two short films, Greenhouse and Extinction, that were selected in National Film Festivals. During her time at Columbia University she directed Soy Sola, which won a Chilean post-production grant and was selected to be part of Short Film Corner in Cannes 2019 catalog. In addition to finishing her short film The Virgin, The Old Lady and The Journey, she is currently writing her thesis So They Say and developing her first feature Well Presented Lady that received the IBERMEDIA award to participate in Andean Workshop.
Aliza Brugger is a New York City based producer, director and screenwriter originally from Nebraska. She received her MFA in filmmaking from Columbia University where she has written, directed and produced several features, TV pilots and short films that have screened in festivals all over the world. Brugger enjoys exploring themes of sexuality, female connection, nature and dystopia. Her goal as a filmmaker is to create stories that connect viewers to the image, to each other and to the world.
Cecilia Otero is a New York-based writer/producer/director who was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Santiago, Chile. She runs the production company Hiedra. The first movie Otero produced, Piola, won 6 prizes in the Work in Progress section of the 2019 Guadalajara International Film Festival and is part of the official selection at FICG 35, in Guadalajara, México and Málaga Film Festival in Spain. She is currently developing The Fox & the Raven, based on her own script, which she will also direct. Otero’s short documentary Partir (2011), which she produced and directed, was showcased at the Havana Film Festival and at the Chicago-Latino Film Festival and won several awards. Her second documentary, Memories of the Absent (2015), financed through a grant from the Chilean government, was also showcased at the Havana Film Festival. Otero has worked as a screenwriter on the award-winning Chilean television series, Bala Loca. In 2016, she also helped adapt for the screen My Tender Matador, a novel by Pedro Lemebel to be directed by Rodrigo Sepúlveda. Her directorial debut in fiction, Aburo, was supported by the Amsterdam World Cinema Fund and will enter the festival circuit soon.
Born in Barcelona, Marta Cruañas is a film producer based in NY. In Barcelona, she worked in the post-production department of Endless Nights (starring Juliette Binoche, Rinko Kikuchi and Gabriel Byrne), which opened the Berlinale 2015. Then she jumped at the opportunity to work for Neo Art Producciones and then Distinto Films, where she dealt with all matters related to international markets, funding applications, development strategies, and marketing. This year she completed her first feature film as a producer: Júlia ist, directed by Elena Martin. Cruañas was recently featured in Variety as an upcoming noteworthy Catalan producer.