by NILES ATALLAH
(Feature film, 2017)
REY premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Hivos Tiger Competition, 2017 where it won a Special Jury Award for “exceptional artistic achievement.” In the International Competition in FICUNAM, Mexico City, the film won the Audience Award. In Cinélatino Recontres Toulouse, France REY won the French Critic’s Discovery Prize. It won the FIPRESCI prize in the Vladivostok International Film Festival in Russia and Best Fiction at FicWallmapu, the Indigenous International Film Festival of Wallmapu in Temuco, Chile.
“When, at the Southern end of the world, this lost and isolated Frenchman brandishes on horseback the flag of a country that does not yet exist, Niles Atallah seems to (re)discover the cinema, another territory still and always virgin for those who seek to explore.” Cahiers du Cinema, Nicolas Azalbert
CAST & CREW
Writer and Director: Niles Atallah
Producer: Lucie Kalmar
Cast: Rodrigo Lisboa (Orllie-Antoine de Tounens), Claudio Riveros (Rosales)
Cinematography: Benjamín Echazarreta
Art direction: Natalia Geisse
Sound Design: Roberto Espinoza
Original music: Sebastián Jatz Rawicz
Editing: Benjamin Mirguet
Language: Spanish, Mapudungun
REY is produced by DILUVIO in Chile and Lucie Kalmar of Mômerade in France and includes co-production partners in Germany (unafilm), the Netherlands (Circe Films and EYE Filmmuseum) and Qatar (Doha Film Institute).
with the support of
Aide aux Cinémas du Monde – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée – Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du développement international – Institut français
Netherlands Film Fund + Hubert Bals Fund Co-production Scheme
Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
Torino FilmLab Production Award
Doha Film Institute Postproduction Fund
Torino FilmLab Distribution Fund
Aide au développement du scénario du festival d’Amiens
Hubert Bals Fund Development Fund
Cinefondation L’Atelier Cannes Film Festival, Binger Filmlab The Netherlands, Torino FilmLab (Script&Pitch and Framework), CPH:FORUM Copenhagen, rivieraLAB Riviera Maya Film Festival, Mexico. Pavillon Les Cinémas du Monde, Cannes Film Festival & Cinéma en développement 5, Rencontres Cinémas d’Amérique Latine de Toulouse, France, 2010 and at Australab at the Valdivia International Film Festival in Chile, 2010.
In 1860, a French lawyer dreamt of becoming the King of Patagonia. And he did become just that. Or so it seems.
In 1860, a French adventurer established a kingdom in an independent region of southern Chile, uniting the native Mapuche. The Chilean army’s response was devastating. At least, that’s one version of this true story. Or, was he a French spy? Banished? Died but somehow returned? In Rey, the tension between history and memory materialize in the degradation of image and sound. The film is an odyssey through a land of fantasies and dreams.
When I first encountered the story of Orllie-Antoine de Tounens, King of Araucania and Patagonia, I was intrigued by the enigmatic nature of this French lawyer and the scarce memory that remains of him today. Buried under layers of myths and legends, there was just enough concrete evidence of this man and his kingdom to prevent them both from slipping into total oblivion. However, there were so many holes in the story that only a fragmented vision could be pieced together at best.
“Rey” came into being as I sifted through the many pieces of this king’s story. I imagined a film that evoked an analogous experience in the spectator: a journey through a realm of forgotten dreams, the decaying memories and fantasies of a ghost. And like a fading memory, they remain a chimera to this day, a king and a kingdom that exist only in dreams.