Miguel, an older and lonely fisherman, finds out he has only one week left to live. This news triggers an explosion of life and energy in him, prompting him to look for his long-time teenage crush, Luciana. Before embarking on his quest to find her, his son Sebastian comes to visit him and learns about his father’s destiny. Miguel and Sebastian haven’t talked in years because of their differences. Sebastian returns seeking to make things right with his father and to introduce him to Julieta, a granddaughter Miguel didn’t know about.
Miguel embarks on his journey accompanied by his loyal friend Cholo and a great new ally: Julieta. Although Sebastian is against his father’s “ridiculous” quest, he will have to come to terms with his father’s last decision.
A simple mission turns into a monumental journey across Chile, following the vague clues of a memory.
Where does the idea for Grandpa Miguel come from?
The filmmakers reflect that talking about the elderly has to do with reconnecting family ties with their grandparents, to discover and value their own roots.
When we listen to a grandparent tell the stories of their youth, we discover an incredible world filled with fantastic adventures. This movie invites audiences to identify themselves with these two fun seniors who behave like little kids, leaving their fears aside to carry out their plan.
Animation allows creating this fantastic world, presenting a reflection, and making a grandfather, who will soon be gone, the protagonist, and to share his outlook on life with his granddaughter.
“Speaking about the elderly, immediately bring us to the subject of Death… to normalize and to subtly present this process that most children will have to face at some point in their lives. We hope we can give our audiences something to reflect on, to question themselves about the relationship they have with their grandparents and the way they live their lives,” indicates Cecilia Baeriswyl, executive producer of the project.
A long trajectory working in animation has Tomás Montalva, director of the project and founder of Osobuco Animación, a small studio located in the town of Llolleo, in the Region of Valparaíso. Llolleo Creativo was created to produce this movie in 2018, but with dreams to start producing feature films in the future with an author’s tone.
Tomás Montalva says: “In 2006 I wrote an episode for a series called ‘Cuchuflī’, in which a grandson made kites with pages from a newspaper that contained the news of the day. He flew the kites very high, beyond the clouds, so his dead grandfather could read the news. Therefore, the problem of death and the connections that remain with relatives who are no longer present, the human relationships, the bonds of love and the identity that is passed down between generations are very present problems in the stories I like to write about.”
“Granpa Miguel” is a mixture of personal experiences, anecdotes and fantastic, fun, imaginary stories that give rise to the journey of a grandfather wanting to make his dream come true, which will be interrupted by the return of his family.
How does Granpa Miguel become a reality?
In 2019, the team applied to the Audiovisual Fund to cover pre-production expenses. “Granpa Miguel” is a film with a limited budget, designed to be 70% financed by public funds. “While we want to develop a very ambitious project, we are aware that we are a new production company with no previous experience in animated feature films. Consequently, our main objective is to produce a good film,” explains Montalva.
At this point, the team is finishing pre-production, mainly working on the final Animatic corrections. At the same time, they are looking for opportunities to find co-producers and financing for the next stage of production. Their completion dates are linked to finding and securing the remaining resources, but they hope to have a finished product by 2024.
Their challenge for this film is to achieve a perfect balance between art, entertainment, business and the industry. Creating a good film with cultural identity that captivates the audience with a message of hope. A film that allows building teams, talent and knowledge, but also a film that becomes a product that can be exported to a universal market and works financially for producers and co-producers. If all these objectives are achieved, they will be able to embark on their next productions.