Vienna-based sales agent Square Eyes has boarded Tana Gilbert’s feature debut “Malqueridas” ahead of its world premiere as part of Venice’s International Critics’ Week. The documentary was shot entirely on clandestine cell phones by the inmates of a women’s prison in Chile.
” ‘Malqueridas’ forms a collective memory of this often abandoned community, and shows how these mothers – and their love – withstand the trials of life in jail, far from family and loved ones,” according to a press statement. “In prison, they find affection in other partners who share their situation as mutual support among these women becomes a form of resistance and empowerment.”
Gilbert stated: “ ‘Malqueridas’ has an extensive team of very talented and hard-working people who have been working on this film for seven years. The relationship we built with all the women who participated has transformed us forever. Cinema allows us to open dialogues between human groups, to explore the cultural richness and stories of ordinary people. I’m confident that this selection in Venice and the work with Square Eyes will allow us to pave the way for other Chilean women filmmakers of the future.”
Produced by Paola Castillo for Errante Producciones (Chile) in co-production with Dirk Manthey Film UG (Germany), “Malqueridas” was part of the Chile Showcase at Cannes Docs 2022, where it won the Alphapanda Award, as well as Pitching du Réel 2021 (Visions du Réel, Switzerland), where it received the DOK Leipzig/DOK Industry Networking Award. The project also participated in the IDFA Academy (Netherlands), DOK Co-Pro Market (DOK Leipzig, Germany), Conecta (Chile), Cine Chileno del Futuro FicValdivia (Chile), Sanfic Lab (Chile) and Docs Valparaíso (Chile).
“In the 38 years of Venice’s International Critics’ Week, it is the first time that a Chilean documentary has been selected,” Castillo commented. “This is a very important milestone for the team, and also for the visibility of our community. We are very happy to start this journey with Square Eyes CEO, Wouter Jansen, and his team, their sensitivity and commitment will undoubtedly increase the impact of ‘Malqueridas,’ and to make visible the situation of women in prison, particularly those who are mothering.”
Jansen commented: “ ‘Malqueridas’ is an exceptional film, which gives us not only delicate but also very unique access to a community of people who have been literally hidden from society. Their solidarity and Tana’s incredible artistic eye as a director makes this a film that will stay with you for a very long time.”