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"1976" by the Chilean actress and director will premiere in the Directors' Fortnight, a parallel selection to the Cannes Film Festival. Photo: gettyimages.
'1976' by the Chilean actress and director Manuela Martelli will premiere in the Directors' Fortnight, a parallel selection to the Cannes Film Festival. Photo: Getty Images.

A film about Pinochet's dictatorship at Cannes

Movies from Chile, Colombia and Spain compete to stand out in the Directors' Fortnight, the parallel section of the Cannes International Film Festival.

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Chilean actress Manuela Martelli debuts as a film director with her movie 1976 at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world: Cannes in France.

Martelli is recognized in her country and across Latin America for her performance in the movie B-Happy, which led her to win the Best Actress prize at the Havana Film Festival in 2003; and Il Futuro, which also led her to win the Colón de Plata for Best Actress at the Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival.

Her debut film is a 95-minute feature film classified as a political thriller about the early years of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile.

Martelli's film tells the story of a Chilean named Carmen who agrees to a priest's request in 1976: take care of a young man he keeps secretly hidden. The movie stars Aline Kuppenheim.

“The idea started from a family story, but later it was detaching itself from reality and incorporating elements of fiction. I was interested in getting into the domestic space during the time of the dictatorship in Chile, and observing, through the details of everyday life, how what happened in the public space was perceived,” Martelli said in an interview with Cinema Chile.

1976 is one of the long films selected for the Directors' Fortnight, a parallel selection to the 75th Cannes Film Festival, which will be held from May 18 to 24.

The movie El varón, directed by Colombian Fabián Hernández and El agua by Spanish director Elena López Riera are also included on this list. 

El varón tells the story of Carlos, a young man who lives in Bogotá and must face the complex circumstances on the street, his neighborhood,” the director said in an interview with Caracol TV.

El agua, on the other hand, recounts the connection that exists between the rain and women in a small town in the south of Spain. The film stars Ana, a character played by debut actress Luna Pamies.

"I grew up in an environment predominantly dominated by women who spent hours telling these stories passed down from generation to generation and who always mixed real events with fantastic elements," the director told Sensacine. 

The Cannes Directors' Fortnight selection is made up of a total of 23 feature films which, in addition to the Ibero-American and Latin American films above, includes another 17 directors from different European countries.

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