In a First, Paraguay to Compete for Berlinale's Golden Bear

Marcelo Martinessi receiving the award for best short at Venice.

Marcelo Martinessi receiving the award for best short at Venice.

The Berlin Film Festival has announced the world premiere of the Paraguayan film Las herederas / The Heiresses in the main competition of the 68th edition of the German festival, marking the first time a film from the South American country competes for the Golden Bear, the festival's top prize. 

The debut feature by Marcelo Martinessi, who had won the award for best short film in the Horizons section at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, is a co-production with Germany, Uruguay, Norway, Brazil and France, stars Ana Brun, Margarita Irún, Ana Ivanova, and was also the first Paraguayan project selected for Cannes' Cinefondation.

The Heiresses tells the story of Chela (60), who has been living with Martina (61) for more than 30 years. As heiresses from prosperous families, they have received enough money to live comfortably without the need to work. But as they both turn 60, the inheritance starts to run out. With the passage of time and the difficult economic situation, the relationship between them has worn out and become a succession of long silences. It all gets more complicated as Martina faces prosecution for unpaid debts and has to go to jail.

The 68th edition of the Berlinale will take place February 15-25.