Cleveland International Film Festival } March 29 – April 9, 2017

Someone the Whole World is Watching

March 30, 2014   |   posted in Filmmakers


Che Sandoval is, for many Chileans, a national hero.

Although he has only directed two feature films, both of those films have taken the Festival circuit by storm and made him a household name in his home country. His second film, “Much Better Than You,” is not as much a sequel to as a spin-off of his first film, “You Think You’re the Prettiest (But You’re the Sluttiest),” which screened at the 35th CIFF in 2011. Both films play again this weekend as Che is given the Festival’s Someone To Watch Award.

If you saw “You Think You’re the Prettiest…” when it screened three years ago, you may remember the protagonist, Javier, briefly encountering a man whose girlfriend had just left him to study in Spain, and who was determined to drown his sorrow in as many women as he could manage to seduce. “Much Better Than You” tells that man’s story, elaborating on that night and what it meant for him. That is, it turns out, the night that he must make a crucial choice.

“He has to decide between his family and his adolescent lifestyle,” Sandoval explains in an interview with DazedDigital. “The movie is about being 30 to 40, an age in which you are between stages.”

Astute viewers may be able to spot an improvement in production values between films—“You Think You’re The Prettiest…” was shot on a $3,000 shoestring budget, while “Much Better Than You” had a budget of approximately $200,000, a testament to how bankable and beloved Sandoval is now in Chile—but the same philosophy informs both works.

“I’m interested in human nature,” he says. “I'm interested in how the concept of man has changed. For instance, my first movie is about what you think is being a man when you're 20 ([seduce] all the hottest girls that you find) and the second one is about what you think is being a man when you're 35 (have a family, grow up).”

Sandoval’s approach is a successful one; “Much Better Than You” has already taken home prizes at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema and the Warsaw International Film Festival. Now he gets to take home another award, this one signaling his status as a budding auteur. As for what we can expect to watch from him in the future, he has been very clear: he is already developing the third film in his envisioned trilogy. With the way everything he touches has turned to gold for him so far, we know that it won’t be long before Che Sandoval makes another triumphant return to the CIFF.

—Lara Klaber

PDF  Download Related PDF [1.2 MB]

Related Screenings:
03/28/14 @ 6:40 PM – Much Better Than You
03/28/14 @ 9:10 PM – You Think You're the Prettiest, But You're the Sluttiest
03/30/14 @ 12:00 PM – Much Better Than You
03/30/14 @ 2:20 PM – You Think You're the Prettiest, But You're the Sluttiest

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