Alejandro Fernández Almendras Wins Locarno's Carte Blanche


Chilean director Alejandro Fernández Almendras won the Carte Blance industry competition of the Locarno Film Festival with the project for his third feature film Matar a un hombre / To Kill a Man (pictured). The jury, comprised of Frédéric Boyer of the Tribeca Film Festival, Gerwin Tamsma of the Rotterdam International Film Festival and Uruguayan producer awarded Fernández Almendras's project with top prize consisting of 10,000 CHF ($10,000 USD approximately) to contribute to its completion.

The film, produced by Eduardo Villalobos, tells the story of 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 had previously directed the family saga Huacho (2009) and the countryside drama Sentados frente al fuego / By the Fire (2011). He developed To Kill a Man as part of Cannes' Cinefondation-Atelier, the film should be ready early next year.

The Locarno Film Festival’s Carte Blanche initiative offers a look at films in post-production from a different country every year, turns the spotlight on Chile for its third edition. The selected works in progress, unseen at any other festival and not yet sold to international sales agents, were shown to industry professionals during Locarno’s Industry Days event.

The other competing Chilean projects were Raul by Matias Venables Brito, R. Lorena by Isidora Marras, Surire by Bettina Perut and Ivan Osnovikoff, The Prodigal Son by Carlos Araya Diaz, The Waltz by Edison Cajas, and Volantin Cortao by Anibal Jofré And Diego Ayala.