Marcelo Martinessi's debut feature The Heiresses / Las herederas, the first Paraguayan film to ever participate in the main competition at the Berlinale, took home two of the two awards of the German film festival: the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives, and the Silver Bear for Best Actress for the protagonist Ana Brun.
The Heiresses became the sixth Latin American film to ever win the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize after the Guatemalan film Ixcanul by Jayro Bustamante in 2015, the Uruguayan film Gigante by Adrián Biniez in 2009, the Mexican film Lake Tahoe by Fernando Eimbcke in 2008, and the Argentine films El Custodio by Rodrigo Moreno in 2006 and La Ciénaga by Lucrecia Martel in 2001.
Brun also became the sixth Latin American performer to win the Silver Bear for Best Actress after the Chilean actress Paulina García (Gloria) in 2013, Brazilian actresses Marcélia Cartaxo (Hour of the Star) in 1986, Ana Beatriz Nogueira (Vera) in 1987, Fernanda Montenegro (Central do Station) in 1998; and Colombian actress Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace) in 2004.
The Heiresses follows Chela and Chiquita, who both descended from wealthy families in Asunción, and have been together for over 30 years. However, their financial situation has worsened in recent times and they begin selling off their inherited possessions. But when their debts lead to Chiquita being imprisoned on fraud charges, Chela is forced to face a new reality.
Driving for the first time in years, she begins to provide a local taxi service to a group of elderly wealthy ladies. As Chela settles into her new life, she encounters the much younger Angy, forging a fresh and invigorating new connection. Chela finally begins to break out of her shell and engage with the world, embarking on her own personal, intimate revolution.
The Silver Bear for Best Screenplay was presented to Alonso Ruizpalacios and Manuel Alcalá for the Mexican film Museo starring Gael García Bernal, and directed by Ruizpalacios,