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Sebastian Lelio The Wave

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Feminist May: Sebastián Lelio Rides “The Wave” with #MeToo Musical

Feminist May: Sebastián Lelio Rides “The Wave” with #MeToo Musical

Some cool international film news dropping before Cannes unveils their line-up, Variety gets the exclusive scoop on a new Sebastián Lelio project flying off our radar. Production is now complete on The Wave — a musical inspired by the mass protests and university rallies that took place during Chile’s so-called “feminist May” movement in 2018. Production took place over the past two months back in Chile. After 2022’s The Wonder, we were thinking that he’d move towards previous studio type projects in sci-fi pitched Apple/A24 Bride (last mentioned in 2020) or Voyagers (set up with Andrew Garfield, Daisy Edgar-Jones) but Lelio focused on a local uprising with the curious choice of utilizing the musical genre for a hard-hitting moment in Chile’s recent history. The Wave features newbie actresses in Daniela López, Avril Aurora, Lola Bravo and Paulina Cortés and was produced by Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue and Lelio. We can imagine this being a Berlinale entry for 2025.

Based on a screenplay by Lelio, Manuela Infante, Josefina Fernández and Paloma Salas, this centers on Julia, a dedicated music student who gets involved in the growing feminist movement on her university campus — a group effort where women step up to bring attention to the widespread harassment and abuse suffered by many of their peers. Amid the excitement of protest marches, she joins her friends in dancing and singing, revisiting her own experiences of mistreatment. But as she gathers the courage to share her story, she unexpectedly becomes a central figure in the movement. It’s a role she didn’t foresee, but one which forces her to address her identity as a survivor in a society that promises change but remains resistant to it.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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