Academy Award winner Sebastián Lelio (“A Fantastic Woman”) has signed on to associate produce “El Porvenir de la Mirada,” a doc feature that captures the trauma of young protesters shot in the eyes by Chilean police during massive demonstrations erupting in Chile in October 2019.
Lelio’s boarding “El Porvenir de la Mirada” marks his return to his native Chile after movies with Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams (“Disobedience”) and Julianne Moore (“Gloria Bell”).
Produced by Gabriela Sandoval and Carlos Núñez at Storyboard Media (“Santiago, Italia,” “Jailbreak Pact”), “Porvenir” is directed by Chilean doc filmmaker Cristián Leighton (“Kawase San,” “Nowheremen”). Storyboard will unveil “Porvenir” at the Cannes Film Market, courting international co-producers, said Sandoval.
In huge civil protests mainly between October 2019 and March 2020 — for example, on Oct. 25, 2019, over 1.2 million people marched in Santiago — 460 protestors received eye injuries resulting from rubber bullets and pellets used against demonstrators by security forces. Most cases were treated by the Ocular Trauma Unit (UTO) of Hospital del Salvador in central Santiago. The victims are said to mark the biggest collective case of eye injuries in international medical history.
Leighton began shooting footage at the UTO in an observational style in October 2019, focusing on a clutch of often very young victims, some of whom will be blinded for life. He weaves an intimate portrait of their ocular trauma, post-trauma, treatment, the impact of injury on their lives and their hopes for Chile’s future.
The film’s aim, its producers said, is to create a “historical memory,” a “counter-history” to official versions. It also aims understand how a young generation found the strength to achieve social change in Chile, Leighton added.