Juan Sebastián Quebrada
The Other Son
Year of lab participation:
Following his younger brother’s fatal fall from a balcony at a party, and as his family falls to pieces before his eyes, Federico makes an effort to live a normal life during his final weeks of school, and falls in love.
Bogota, the present. Simón (15) and Federico (17) meet up with their friends from the posh high school they recently started attending for a party they haven't experienced in a long time. They drink, dance, do drugs. But the party is short-lived: someone has fallen from the balcony. When Federico looks out the window, he immediately understands that it is his brother. And that he is dead. Federico tries to live his last few weeks of high school as normally as possible as his family falls apart before his eyes. He tries to be strong, to study, date, and prepare for college, but caught between his father, who is convinced that Simón committed suicide, and his mother, who is obsessed with the idea of communicating with her dead son, Federico soon realizes that it will be impossible for him to act as if nothing had happened. He grows closer to Laura, his brother's ex-girlfriend and the last person to have seen him alive, and although she provides none of the answers he was hoping for, he falls in love for the first time. And this, perhaps, is the only thing that will allow him to finally mourn.
Six years ago, I got a call from my father, telling me that my teenage brother had just died. Like Federico, the character in my film, I got scared but not much more than that at the time. I went into the bathroom, looked into the mirror and said goodbye to my face and my life. I knew that soon, when I looked at myself again, I would see another face: that of someone with a very different life. Rather than talking about death, in this film I am interested in talking about how, after a traumatic event, not only our perception of things changes, but also the intensity of the present. Of the need to learn to get up and look at things from another place. What it means to reconnect with the world. That is why I choose to tell the story from the point of view of a teenager, “the other son”, who must find his way in the shadow of his dead brother. This is a film of strong contrasts –of light, of feelings, of contexts– and I am concerned with portraying them with an electric intensity. I will try to portray the depth of existence, not through imposed or solemn staging, but through the energy inherent in the use of non-professional actors and in the city of Bogotá. I want to speak out loud about my brother’s death, my family’s madness, and my own pain, but, above all, about the light that comes after darkness. The difficult light, more beautiful than ever, that all humans must see sooner or later.
Studied directing at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires and completed an editing degree at ESCAC, Barcelona. His graduate project, STRANGE DAYS, premiered at the 2015 BAFICI and was selected for festivals and won awards (Munich, Toulouse, Cartagena…). His first short, THE TREEHOUSE , was sold to ARTE before premiering in competition at the Toronto International Film Festival and traveling to more than 35 international festivals. He is currently developing his first feature THE OTHER SON, with the support of production companies Evidencia Films (Colombia), Geko Films (France), Le Tiro (Argentina) and Tresmilmundos Cine (Argentina).
Franco Lolli, Producer Columbia
Colombian screenwriter, director and producer Lolli (1983, Bogotá) studied film at La Fémis in France. Directed the short films Como todo el mundo (2008 Grand Jury Prize, Clermont-Ferrand) and Rodri (2012 Cannes Director’s Fortnight). His opera prima Gente de bien premiered at the 2014 Cannes Critics’ Week and his second feature Litigante opened the same event in 2019. He founded Evidencia Films to produce his own films and those of other directors with powerful ideas and unique perspectives.
Production company profile
Evidencia Films is a Colombian film production company, whose main focus is the creation of an auteur cinema both daring and with strong commercial potential on the international market. To date, the company has produced Lolli's two feature films as director, as well as seven short films and a miniseries. The company's works have been selected for and won awards at major festivals around the world (Cannes, San Sebastián, London, Chicago…). Most recently, Evidencia intervened as associate producer to Simón Mesa’s first feature AMPARO, that premiered at the Critic’s Week in Cannes 2021. The company is currently developing the documentary LOS TILANGOS by Tomás Pinzón, about the failed Colombian peace process, and the first feature film by 2020 Orizzonti Short Film award winner Mariana Saffon.
Evidencia Films, Bogota, Colombia
$335.000, Colombian Fund writing and production grants / Colombian, French and Argentinian co producers