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Claudia Llosa • Director

"Every production presents new obstacles and the challenge is to learn to work with them"


- After winning a Golden Bear for The Milk of Sorrow, the Peruvian director returned to the Berlinale with a more international project: Aloft

Claudia Llosa  • Director

The cinema career of Peruvian Claudia Llosa may still be short, but the director has already become a well-known figure on the Berlin Film Festival circuit. She returned there for the third time with Aloft [+see also:
interview: Claudia Llosa
film profile
, after winning the Golden Bear in 2009 for The Milk of Sorrow [+see also:
film review
film profile
and a Teddy Award the following year for her short Loxoro.  A mother’s encounter with her son who she abandoned twenty years before is at the centre of this story of strength and fragility set in the Polar Arctic Circle. The film is the director’s first to be made in English and produced in Spain (Wanda Visión, Arcadia Motion Pictures and Manitoba Films), France (Noodles Production) and Canada (Buffalo Gal Pictures).

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Cineuropa: It is clear this film’s setting was extremely important in terms of the way in which it was told.
Claudia Llosa: Yes, it was. I was looking for a hostile environment that was also full of beauty to contextualize the relationships in the film. The characters are part of modern life but are also far away from big cities and technological progress, in a place that could fall apart from one moment to the next, like their lives. I needed powerful nature, which was reminiscent of the characters’ fragility, but I was also looking for nakedness so that it wasn’t too distracting. 

Both characters played by Jennifer Connelly and Cillian Murphy are unconventionally beautiful, like your film’s landscape.
She has that kind of suggestive beauty - powerful and fragile, which I needed for the film. He has that kind of disarming, almost inhibiting beauty too. The level of humanity they brought to the process of filming was beyond what I had anticipated.

It is the first time you shoot in English. Did filming in a foreign language influence filmmaking?
An interesting dynamic came about because I discovered a different way of communicating than I had previously been using with my actors. This made me realise that every production, whether it is small or large, has its obstacles, and the challenge is to learn to work with these obstacles and take the best from them.

The Berlin Festival has become one of your great supporters. What does this festival have that others don’t?
Despite the climate, it is a very warm festival. It is different in that it is incredibly open in terms of what it has to offer, with infinite amounts of parallel sections and original viewpoints. It also has an educational and training aspect to it, which cannot be found elsewhere. It is more in touch with the human side of productions than meets the eye. It pays a lot of attention to directors and films’ artistic crews.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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