Science Fiction & Soccer: A Match Made in Deep Space Heaven

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There is a before and after effect of Ecuadorian Cinema ever since Sebastián Cordero released his award-winning film Ratas, Ratones, Rateros in 1999.  The film had its World Premiere at the Venice International Film Festival and subsequently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.  I can still remember watching it with some friends; we loved observing the streets of Guayaquil on the big screen while the energetic soundtrack reminded us that Ecuadorian music and film could be something to be proud of, there were endless possibilities. 
MIFF has screened several of Cordero’s films in the past, including Chronicles (Crónicas) and presented the North American Premiere of Pescador as part of the Knight Ibero-American Competition in 2012.

Scene from Europa Report

Fast forward to 2013, Cordero has a handful of critically acclaimed films under his belt, and is daring to go where no other Ecuadorian has gone before: deep space.  His latest film, Europa Report, starring Sharito Copley (District 9) and Michael Nyquist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Swedish trilogy) sees a group of astronauts embarking on a mission to reach Europa, one of Jupiter’s icy moons, after a scientist finds water underneath its frozen surface.

I went to Quito about three weeks ago to watch a World Cup qualifying soccer match between Ecuador and Argentina which resulted in a 1-1 draw.  Once in the city, I emailed Sebastián and we headed out to a nearby restaurant to talk about his new film, which I had not yet seen.  Listening to Cordero giving me details of the trials and tribulations the spaceship crew were going to go through had me salivating with anticipation at the notion that such a film would be available on VOD the week after my return to Miami.  I was in awe the whole time we talked, trying to understand how an independent filmmaker from Ecuador ended up shooting a science fiction thriller.  I must admit that after watching the film I was truly amusingly surprised; I emailed Sebastián countless times, some of my letters must have gone to spam…
Europa Report  is now available on iTunes and VOD, and is coming soon to theaters on August 2nd.
— Andres Castillo

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Jaie Laplante

Jaie Laplante is the Miami Film Festival's executive director and director of programming. Learn more about Jaie on Programmers.