The Chilean film To Kill a Man / Matar a un hombre by Alejandro Fernández Almendras was awarded the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic competition at the 2014 edition of the Sundance Film Festival. Fernández Almendras becomes the third Chilean director to win this award after Sebastián Silva's La Nana / The Maid in 2009, and Andrés Wood's Violeta se fue a los cielos / Went to Heaven in 2012.
The film follows Jorge, a hard working family man, who earns just enough to cover basic expenses. One afternoon, he is mugged by Kalule, a local delinquent. Jorge’s son decides to confront Kalule and recover what was stolen. Kalule shoots Jorge`s son, who nearly dies. The police get there and arrest Kalule. When Kalule gets out, he begins to terrorize the family. They go to the police for help, but the authorities don´t listen. When Kalule moves one step closer to fulfill his desire for revenge, Jorge decides to take justice into his own hands.
Fernández Almendras has worked as a film critic, photographer, and journalist. He has directed several short films, which screened at the Berlin International Film Festival. His first feature, Huacho, won the Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award and premiered during Critics' Week at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. The film won the award for best first feature in Havana, best film at the Viña del Mar International Film Festival, and best director at the Punta del Este International Film Festival. Sentados frente al fuego / By the Fire, his second feature, premiered at the 2011 San Sebastián International Film Festival and won the jury prize at the Toulouse Latin America Film Festival.
This year's Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Jury was composed by Chilean director Sebastián Lelio, programmer Carlo Chatrian, and producer Nansun Shi. The 30th edition of the Sundance Film Festival took place January 16-26 at Park City, Utah.
Top photo by Calvin Knight/Sundance Film Festival.