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Constanza Novick: “The film industry is chauvinistic and women need to show twice as much talent”

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55FICX hosted on its opening ceremony the European premiere of Argentinian Constanza Novick’s debut film. El futuro que viene tells the story of a female friendship and its ups and downs throughout the decades.
Dolores Fonzi ( Paulina) and Pilar Gamboa (El incendio) interpret two adult women. The director said that “ Romina was written for Dolores, we’ve been friends for years. I hadn’t thought about Pilar for Flor’s character, but it didn’t take long to find her”. Novick’s work with the starring actresses was then centered in building the complicity both show on the screen. “We worked more on the bonds than in the characters, we needed the idea that those two friends had had a long friendship”. Through an elliptic narrative she shows how that intimate bond is able to survive the passage of other people through their lives. “I don’t believe that men are less important than them, but their relationship with them is more confrontational”.

Romina and Pilar’s friendship is marked by a pre-teenage years that serves as the film’s first act. “It was very hard to find the children; they had to physically resemble the adult actresses and had the same age between them. I was desperate for a while”. Their relationship started in the 80s, a time Novick lived with a similar age. “The budget wasn’t enough to rebuild the time. The instructions were precise”. Asked about if the film has autobiography strokes, she said “not much, but it does have some snippets and feelings from my childhood. I have had encounters and disagreements, but never a relationship like this”.

Before she directed her first film, Novick had worked mainly as a writer. The project El futuro que viene went through a long process. “When I started, it was a theatre play, which covered the second stage of the film. Then it became a screenplay, I realized I wanted to direct it and decided to take the risk”. To make it she had essential patronage from Lisandro Alonso ( Jauja), her producer. “Maybe it could have been impossible to make without him. The film industry is very chauvinistic and women have to show twice the talent, the strength, the courage, to get through. The battle will be won when this isn’t talked about anymore.”

Alonso, also present at Gijón and known for a harsher cut of cinema, defended that he film has very little to do with his works as a director. “Sensitivity was much more feminine, it was on the other extreme of my films, and that attracted me”. The shift was also a challenge for him, more used to film in very different conditions. “It was a learning process. I had never filmed at Buenos Aires, and I also don’t usually handle such a big budget, but I felt at home”. Moreover, he considered that producing his wife’s film was “an act of love”.

Director and producer agreed on commenting the current situation in Argentinian cinema. While Novick regretted the conditions of her recent local premiere, almost at the same times as films like that of Lucrecia Martel, “if all the similar films arrive at the same time, it’s impossible to have an audience for so many”, while Alonso stated that “Argentinian cinema is complicated because the Estate has had a very generous relationship with it and sometimes it confuses what types of films it should promote”.

Sergio de Benito
Palabras clave Festival de Cine, 2017