Pablo Giorgelli, winner of the Golden Camera at Cannes 2011 with that wonder that is Acacias, filmed in the Dominican Republic Entrustment, a drama again with only three actors – as in Acacias-. The three are on board the ship that gives the title to the film by the director of Invisible, that shortly after setting sail, was shipwrecked.
“In mid-2019 I was shooting a series for Public TV in Santa Fe (Old law) and working simultaneously on what was going to be my third film, Background, based on the novel by Patricia Ratto, when I received a message from Diego Poleri, director of photography for all my films, telling me that he was in the Dominican Republic shooting and had been approached by an Italian / Dominican producer who had seen Invisible and he wanted to talk to me “, recalls the director.
That producer was Ettore D’Alessandro, also an actor (he worked on the controversial Mary, by Abel Ferrara), screenwriter and director. “When he told me his idea, I was immediately caught up in the premise. And there was something in that initially alien universe that I immediately recognized as my own. When this happens to me, my head begins to work alone, imagining, asking, sometimes giving me an answer. Then the tone appears, a possible point of view and the first elements that structure a possible film come to mind “.
Actor Ettore D’Alessandro, co-writer, made himself available for Giorgelli to try out for the role of Pietro. Photo Task FIna
Giorgelli -You will remember your experience with Bong joon-ho, Director of Parasites, who was the one who gave him the Chamber of Gold- he met with Adrián Biniez (director of Giant and The 5th of Workshops, with whom I had co-written the script for Background) and with D’Alessandro to write Entrustment. “Then Tarea Fina came in as an Argentine co-producer, under the command of Juampa Miller (producer of my previous films) and from then on I felt at home”.
-One of the production companies, Lantica Media, produced “Terror a 47 meters” and its sequel. Was it their idea to shoot in the tank in the Dominican Republic, where did they shoot them?
-The plan was always to shoot in the Dominican Republic, precisely in the water tank of the Pinewood Studios that are based in that country, and as 100% of the story takes place in the sea, it was essential to shoot it there, a set designed especially for aquatic filming : wave and storm machines, different depth levels, the possibility of having a real horizon because it is built next to the sea and a highly specialized team of divers for these tasks.
Cannes, 2011. Giorgelli thanks the President of the Chamber of Gold Jury, Bong Joon-ho (“Parasites”), with his award. Photo Clarín Archive
The cast is Dominican in the central roles: Ettore D’Alessandro (Roman, but who has lived there for a thousand, in a month he gets citizenship) plays Pietro, a deck worker, and Henry Shaq Montero does the same with Benel in his debut in film and acting, playing a young man who travels illegally on the same ship. And on the Argentine side Marcelo Subiotto plays Abreu.
-When were you going to start filming?
-In principle in December 2019, then we passed it to March 2020 and there came the pandemic, that was the second postponement. And finally it happened with chinstraps, distance and alcohol gel through. There was also a kind of Covid Commissioner on the set, a doctor, nurses, all the time they renewed your chinstrap, in short, very good on the one hand and a downturn on the other.
Ettore D’Alessandro, Giorgelli, Henry Shaq Montero and Marcelo Subiotto stop shooting at the water tank at Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios. Fine Task Photo
-How was the casting process?
-With Subiotto I wanted to work for a long time, since I saw him in Incident lightby Ariel Rotter. He seems like a tremendous actor to me and, without knowing him, I had the impression that he was a good guy, an indispensable condition for me. I would film with him again without hesitation.
A special case
The case of the character of Pietro (Ettore D’Alessandro) was special. The actor told him from the first moment that, beyond being the producer, he wanted to submit to his consideration, “and that if I felt that he was not the right actor, he would step aside. That understanding of what we were doing and that generosity were already a point in his favor. In the process we got to know each other and I found in Ettore the ideal actor for that character. He has great sensitivity and subtlety, he knows about cinema, he quickly understands the tone, and he has a great capacity for work and dedication ”.
-Henry Shaq Montero is not an actor… You usually work with non-actors in leading roles.
-The process to find Benel was longer and strange. First we carried out an extensive initial stage, via Zoom, where, based on certain premises and exercises that I gave them, they went out to look for candidates and sent them to me. I have seen many young people since October 2019. That helped me to rewrite and refine the character of Benel in the script, to find his Caribbean way of speaking and seeing the world.
Giorgelli and Juan Pablo Miller (son of Tato Miller, who was vice president of INCAA), who produced all his films. Fine Task Photo
We were looking for actors and not actors, and there were several very good ones, but I felt that Benel was not there yet and it was just a short time to start pre-production. We broadened the search by adding another casting director, Patricia Terc, until, finally, Carolina, the producer, suggested the son of a friend of hers, Henry Shaq. The problem was that, although he was Dominican, he had lived in France for several years and had no acting experience, which I liked.
Giorgelli designed a first casting with several different exercises, which was conducted by a Dominican actress, Judith Rodríguez. And when he saw it, he says, “I felt it was him, but at the same time the distance and the Zoom made me doubt. So we organized two more tests via Zoom and that’s where I decided. Anyway, the uncertainty and anguish did not go away, it was the first time that I had to define a casting by Zoom. I only met him a month later when I arrived in the Dominican Republic, having already hired him. He is a tremendous intuitive natural actor with impressive emotional intelligence and sensitivity, and in the movie he is truly incredible. Henry is another of the miracles that have been happening with Entrustment. I think it’s going to make people talk. “
“Las acacias”, Giorgelli’s debut feature, with non-actress Hebe Duarte and Germán de Silva. Photo Clarín Archive
-In your two previous films, the maternal feeling (and the paternal in “Las acacias”) was more than latent. In “La encomienda” did you put it aside?
-I feel that Entrustment it has a universe with several points of contact with that of my previous films. Beyond the events that the characters must go through, I was interested in an approach that was attentive to the existential and the intimate.
“Invisible”. The Argentine director took his time after “Las acacias”, and presented in Venice 2017 his film about a young woman facing an unwanted pregnancy. FILE
-Immigration, based on social injustice, is a present issue. How did you approach it?
-On the other hand, from the thematic point of view, migration, exclusion, helplessness and the presence of family ties are also present in the universe of these characters. It is a film that, on one level, responds to elements typical of a genre film, and on another it focuses on the intimate drama of its protagonists. How do you think about the existence and meaning of life in a hyper-connected and at the same time so unequal world, where products and merchandise are more likely to cross borders than people?
-In addition, Bong Joon-ho gave you the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival nine years ago. Did you have any thoughts or memories when “Parasites” won the Palme d’Or?
-I was especially happy, I was very happy with everything that happened to him with Parasite. He was the president of the jury when we won at Cannes. Although that time we communicated almost exclusively by signs, we looked into each other’s eyes, we shook hands and I think there was a kind of deep understanding. Of course, I will always be very grateful to him and I have a special affection for him. Somehow, that award helped a lot to make Las acacias practically go around the world.
“Entrustment” it will be screened this Sunday the 21st at 2:30 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m. in the Paseo Aldrey (Room Aldrey 4), and on Monday the 22nd at 1:30 in the Paseo Aldrey (Room Aldrey 1). And you can see it online from 9pm on Sunday, for 72 hours. Information, on the Festival Page.
Reference from clarin