Chilean filmmaker Felipe Gálvez, whose debut feature “The Settlers” premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, has signed with CAA for representation.
Set in 1901, “The Settlers” centers on Segundo, a mixed-race Chilean, who rides south on an expedition led by a former Boer War English captain and an American mercenary to fence off land granted to Spanish landowner José Menéndez. Their mission soon turns into a “civilizing” raid. Based on true events, the Western exposes a particularly brutal period of Chile’s colonial history and the genocide of Indigenous tribes.
“I love to be controversial,” Gálvez told Variety about the uncomfortable questions the film poses about his country’s past. “If something is controversial, it’s a good sign. It means it’s interesting. I am trying to provoke with my film, because this conversation is far from over.”
Gálvez directed and co-wrote the film with Antonia Girardi, in collaboration with Mariano Llinás, which made a splashy debut in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section. “The Settlers” marked Gálvez’s return to the festival after his short film “Raptor” premiered in the 2018 Critics’ Week section.
After the film’s world premiere, Mubi acquired the rights for North America, the U.K., Latin America, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Benelux and India, with plans to release the film theatrically in the U.S. and U.K. A rollout in other territories has yet to be announced. In the meantime, “The Settlers” continues along the festival circuit, selected to screen at the Munich Film Festival in June, as well as next month’s Toronto International Film Festival (as part of TIFF’s Centrepiece program), San Sebastián and the New York Film Festival (NYFF).
Before transitioning to directing, Gálvez worked as an editor, collaborating with international filmmakers such as Marialy Rivas (“Princesita”), Kiro Russo (“The Great Movement”) and Alex Andwandter (“You’ll Never Be Alone”), among others.
In addition to CAA, Gálvez is managed by Benjamín Domenech at his producing partner Rei Pictures.