Cinema Chile

Through Rocks and Clouds: The union of two worlds on the screen at the Berlin Film Festival

February 16, 2024

This year it starts with the co-production between Chile and Peru. The film Through Rocks and Clouds, directed by filmmaker Francisco García (Peru) and co-produced by Juan Francisco González (Chile) will arrive at Generation 14plus in the new edition of the 74° Festival de Berlín.

This film, whose production is carried out by prominent studios such as Desfase films (Peru), Meztizo Films (Peru), Luna Roja Relatos (Peru), Wayquicha (Peru) and Tierra en trance Films (Chile) will have its world premiere on February 19, where the producers and the protagonist of the film will also be present

A film shot around the Apu Ausangate, 3 hours from the city of Cusco that counted with the inhabitants of the area so that the audience can immerse themselves in the life of Feliciano, a shepherd boy of alpacas (8 years old) whose euphoria for the possibility of Peru classifying the World Cup is only the prelude to a complex reality.

In the run-up to its premiere in Berlin, we talked to the Chilean director, producer and screenwriter. Join us and find out all the details!

How would you define Through Rocks and Clouds in simple words?

Juan Francisco González: The film is narrated from the perspective of a child and his friendship with his alpaca, while living in an adult world with socio-environmental issues. 

What was the motivation to make this film and the decision to choose this theme?

Franco García Becerra: I felt an immediate identification with the script of “Through Rocks and Clouds“, – that image of living in a dream world and pursuing an illusion in times of adversity, is what connected me with Feliciano’s struggles. The script, written by Annemarie Gunkel and Alicia Quispe, is a story that puts innocence, dreams, children’s imagination and the universal right to live a peaceful and safe childhood in perspective.

Why did you decide to make the film in your native language?

Annemarie Gunkel (Writer): With Alicia Quispe (co-writer) we thought that because of the content and the regional belonging of the film story it was clear that it had to be made in the native language of its protagonists.

We believe that it is important that in Peru and Latin America the presence of native languages in cinema, networks and platforms grows so that we recognize ourselves and see it reflected in our cultural and linguistic diversity.

What does it mean to be part of Generation with this director’s second film?

Juan Francisco González: It is something that I am still processing, although I could already tell you that I feel proud that the film reaches a festival as prestigious as the Berlinale, especially in a competition section that gives space to childhoods-adolescents, which makes us forget about adultcentrism for a while.

How was the filming process in those landscapes that do not seem easily accessible and with a lot of interaction with animals in the area?

Franco García Becerra:  Many of the locations are more than 4,000 meters high and the temperatures are very low at certain times of the day, which made it challenging at times, but getting to each of the locations was a gift for how magical they are. Additionally, our protagonist was a great guide throughout this trip.

And to choose the protagonist?

Franco García Becerra: It was an arduous casting process. All the possible actors, protagonists and secondary, participated in an acting workshop for 8 days during which the potential of each was outlined.

Directing Alberth (Feliciano) was an exploration of his own experiences similar to those of Feliciano, his own life gave our character a new dimension. His joviality, his daring quality and his natural way of connecting with his environment and with his animals, helped to consolidate the story.

What elements of the story do you think will connect with global audiences?

Juan Francisco González:  Through Rocks and Clouds portrays the sweetness of childhood, where being happy does not require to have much, this is something that can certainly generate reflection in audiences, especially in a global moment where the conflicts of adults are superimposed on childhoods.

What do you highlight about the co-production with Chile? 

Franco García Becerra: I think it is important that we can add the film industry in the region, where we also share the Andes, and make our cinema circulate in both territories.

The story of RAIZ can make sense of the childhood of Chileans who grew up in a territory of difficult access or in rural areas, especially in the Andean territories of Chile.

Check out their screenings in Berlin here!

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