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"NO" director, Pablo Larrain, down plays his Oscar chances

posted 13 Oct 2012, 07:14 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 13 Oct 2012, 07:14 ]

Chilean director Pablo Larrain brings his new film "NO" to the New York Film Festival. Larrain says he is happy about the Oscar buzz but doesn't want to challenge destiny.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORKUNITED STATES (OCTOBER 12, 2012) (REUTERS) -  Possible Oscar contender "NO" made its New York debut on Friday (October 12) night at the New York Film Festival.

Director Pablo Larrain along with his wife, actress Antonia Zegers, walked the red carpet before the films screening.

Since the movie's world premiere in Cannes early this year, Oscar buzz has been surrounding the film. While both Larrian and Zegers are enjoying the success, they are cautious and cribbing their expectations.

"I just don't want to challenge the destiny, so whatever happens is going to be okay. I don't think we've had a Chilean movie before nominated, so if it happened it would be amazing for a lot of reasons," Larrain told Reuters.

"It would be incredible, but what we have achieved so far has been good. Imagine, better - less is more. Less expectations, more possibilities to surprise yourself in life," Zegers added.

In the film, Gael Garcia Bernal plays Rene Saavedra, a brash, young advertising executive hired by a coalition of 16 parties in opposition to the dictatorship of Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet.

Succumbing to international pressure, Pinochet in 1988 calls a referendum on his presidency, which for 15 years was characterised by its disregard for human rights, murders, imprisonments, exiles and "desaparecidos", or those who just disappeared.

"The movie is about how a group of people got together to put together a communication campaign that was going to be on air for 15 minutes every day for a month to defeat the dictatorship regimen of Pinochet and how without having sponsorships or any attention in the media, because the media was controlled by the dictatorship. It was a country under a dictatorship regimen - with those 15 minutes on air they managed to influence and put out the idea of change and happiness, positivity and enlightenment - that has to do with this rainbow that I have here on my button," the actress said.

Zegers brought the 80's theme of the film to the red carpet by sporting a retro NO button: "It was a way, like a non-violent and very creative way to fight dictatorship."

And the 80's style was brought to the screen by Larrain's choice to marry his film with the archive footage by using a U-matic video camera during production.

"What happened is when normally when a movie shows archives and at the same time shows what they have created in fiction - the combination normally it is noticeable. You can understand that one footage comes from archives and the other one not. So what we did we filmed the movie in the same format of the archive. And this way the viewer wouldn't be able to tell between the two. So we created an illusion that I think is very pretty," he explained.

The nominations for this year's Academy Awards will be on announced on January 15, 2013.