Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio’s trans drama A Fantastic Woman (“Una Mujer Fantástica”) has been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics for release in North America, Australia and New Zealand. The film starring Daniela Vega and Francisco Reyes, will have its world premiere at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival.
Daniela Vega plays Marina, a waitress and singer, and Francisco Reyes plays Orlando, an older man, who is in love with Marina, and planning for the future. After Orlando suddenly falls ill and dies, Marina is forced to confront his family and society.
Marina and Orlando are in love and plan to spend their lives together. She is working as a waitress and adores singing. Her lover, twenty years her senior, has left his family for her. One night, when they return home after having exuberantly celebrated Marina’s birthday at a restaurant, Orlando suddenly turns deathly pale and stops responding. At the hospital, all the doctors can do is confirm his death. Events follow thick and fast: Marina finds herself facing a female police inspector’s unpleasant questions, and Orlando’s family shows her nothing but anger and mistrust. Orlando’s wife excludes Marina from the funeral; she also orders her to leave the apartment – which on paper at least belonged to Orlando – as soon as possible. Marina is a transgender woman. The deceased’s family feels threatened by her sexual identity. With the same energy she once used to fight for her right to live as a woman Marina, with head held high, now insists on her right to grieve. Even if her environment conspires against her, the film at least is entirely on her side, showing us a protagonist who, although increasingly side-lined, is nonetheless strong and worldly-wise – a truly fantastic woman.
“I’m thrilled Sony Pictures Classics will be releasing ‘A Fantastic Woman,’ and am excited by their passion for Marina’s story,” Lelio said in a statement. “The story is one of great human strength, which I hope will invite and challenge audiences to explore the limits of their own empathy. For me, Marina is an inspiration.”