“The Movie Teller”, by Lone Scherfig, will open the 68th Valladolid International Film Festival

Starring Bérénice Bejo, Antonio de la Torre, Sara Becker and Daniel Brühl, the film adapts the novel of the same name by Hernán Rivera Letelier with a script by Walter Salles, Rafa Russo and Isabel Coixet

The Movie Teller, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Chilean National Literature Prize winner Hernán Rivera Letelier, directed by Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (An Education, Italian for Beginners), will open the 68th edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival on October 21.

The film, a Spanish-Chilean-French co-production that will be programmed out of competition, features an international cast headed by Bérénice Bejo (Oscar nominee for The Artist), Antonio de la Torre (La trinchera infinita, El reino, Tarde para la ira) and Daniel Brühl (Goodbye Lenin!, Inglourious Basterds, Rush, Captain America: Civil War). Young Chilean actresses Sara Becker and Alondra Valenzuela complete the main cast of The Movie Teller, a film that mixes humor and drama and is, above all, a declaration of love for cinema.

The film tells the captivating story of María Margarita, a young girl who lives in a mining town in the heart of the Atacama Desert (Chile) in the 1960s and who, from a very young age, has a very special gift for film storytelling. Her talent and passion soon extend beyond her family circle to reach the entire community. The story unfolds hand in hand with relevant cultural and political events, such as the arrival and success of film exhibition, followed by its decline with the appearance of television. It also reflects the political changes that took place during the eras of Frei, Allende and the arrival of Pinochet, and revives the decline of the historic saltpeter mining towns in northern Chile.

Lone Scherfig achieved international recognition in 2000 with Italiensk for begyndere (Italian for Beginners), a film premiered at the 46th edition of SEMINCI and which won the Golden Spike, the Best Actor Award (Peter Gantzler) and the Youth Award, after winning the Silver Bear at the Berlinale. Scherfig returned to the Seminci two years later with her next film, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2002), which again won the Best Actor award, this time for Jaime Sives.

In 2009 she directed An Education, based on a screenplay by Nick Hornby and starring Cary Mulligan. The film received nine BAFTA and three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Since then, Scherfig has directed the romantic drama One Day (2011) with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, The Riot Club (2014) and Their Finest (2017), among others.

Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles (Brazil’s Central Station) is the driving force behind the project he has been working on for more than a decade, a story that is related to his Oscar-winning The Motorcycle Diaries by being set in the same mines of the Atacama Desert where Ernesto Guevara became “Che”. Salles co-wrote the script with Spaniards Rafa Russo (El año de la furia) and Isabel Coixet (La librería, La vida secreta de las palabras, Mi vida sin mí, Nieva en Benidorm), winner of the Honorary Golden Spike at the 65th edition of Seminci.

The film is produced by A Contracorriente Films, Selenium Films, Altiro Films and Contadora Films AIE.  It has the collaboration of ICAA, ICEC, Crea-SGR and the participation of RTVE, TVC, Euskaltel-Telecable. A Contracorriente Films will distribute the film and international sales will be handled by Embankment Films and Latido Films.


The film’s production company, A Contracorriente Films, in collaboration with the acontra+ platform, has launched the First Film Counters Contest, aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 12. Emulating the protagonist, participants are invited to narrate in a short video, in Spanish, Catalan, Basque or Galician, a film or fragment thereof and to participate in a contest in which the participants’ ability to provoke in the audience with their story, the desire to see the film narrated, will be rewarded.

A jury made up of experts (chosen from members of the Film Academy, journalists, writers and professionals from the educational community) will evaluate the videos and choose the winning stories, in their different languages. In addition to the winners determined by the jury, an Audience Award will be given to the video that receives the most votes through the system set up for this purpose.

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