Amazon’s plans in Chile after Sayen

In May 2021, exactly three years ago, Amazon Studios announced an unprecedented bet on this side of the world: the making of three action films filmed entirely in Chile, with Fábula as the production house and Alexander Witt in the director’s chair. The plan was to make a trilogy centered on a young Mapuche woman who discovers a dangerous conspiracy that threatens local ecosystems.

The result of this ambitious initiative was Sayen (2023), Sayen: The dry route (2023) and Sayen: The Huntress, recently released in the 240 countries in which the platform is available. Once the saga is over, Camisa Misas, a company executive who serves as Head of Local Originals for Chile, Colombia and Argentina, analyzes the impact of the three feature films on streaming.

Sayen (2023).

“The overall balance is very positive. Nothing like this had ever been done in the studio in Latin America and it was a very big bet.. We didn’t know very well everything that was going to happen to us. It is a great learning experience, but in general we feel very pleased,” he explains to Worship.

Misas particularly highlights the audience performance of the first installment, which became the most viewed Spanish-language film on the service, a mark it maintains to this day. “The second one may have dropped a bit, but it showed us new landscapes, a much more brave Sayen and new characters. I think that (with the third) we closed with a flourish.”

In the third and final part, set in Santiago, the protagonist (Rallen Montenegro) joins Condor, an underground resistance group that plans to expose Fisk (Aarón Díaz), the businessman behind the plot conspiracy. “It’s a film that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time, waiting to see if Sayen and his collaborators are going to achieve their goal or not,” says the Colombian executive.

When analyzing, one of the points that stands out is the mechanics under which they decided to film the three feature films: consecutively (in the south, in the north and in the capital) and with the same director in charge.

Alexander Witt on the set of the first part.

“For talent and for crew Making three films in a row is too big an effort,” he says. “The truth is, it was very exhausting work for everyone. I think this was an exercise that we wanted to do and it was the first, but in the future we would do it in a different way. We can be just as efficient without necessarily putting the team in a difficult situation”.

And he adds: “In this case we had only one director – wonderful –, and that was the decision that was made. But learning allows us (to think) that we do not always have the same director. Obviously Hollywood has applied that with its great franchises, and it always makes the films look different and grow.”

After launching titles such as the comedy Disconnected and the two seasons of the series The pack, Amazon aims to continue promoting new projects in the country. In that context, “Sayen It was a big bet, but it was worth it.”.

“It is a film that transcended the borders of Chile. It is no small thing that it has done well in the United States, India and other territories. This shows that original local content, well made and of very good quality, can travel internationally, and the importance that a country like Chile has in our current strategy for the countries of South America. And we want to continue investing.”

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Sayen: The Dry Route (2023).

The next Chilean premiere of the platform is bitch life, the romantic comedy starring Daniela Ramírez and Felipe Braun, and with the special participation of Sergio Chamy. Directed by Braun and Gabriela Sobarzo, will debut in your catalog this May 24.

Have there been recent adjustments in terms of the number and what type of productions to make in the country? “The strategy has changed, without a doubt, in recent years, but I think that at this moment we are in a moment of stability, where we want to emphasize the three countries, Colombia, Chile and Argentina, in the same way. And for Chile specifically we want to bring a varied grill. Now we are bringing comedy titles, which we haven’t done much of. We are going to make a comedy series and another comedy film, and we are developing other projects in a dramatic, suspense and thriller vein. We have a project that has action, but it is mixed with the drama that the protagonists experience,” Misas details.

“We have found great creators and producers in Chile. We are very happy with the work we have been doing. We are going to continue supporting that talent”, he closes.

If the first delivery of Sayen took place in the southern forests and the second was set in the northern desert, the adventure of Sayen: The Huntress It moves through emblematic places in Santiago. The film has scenes in the central building of the Costanera Center, in the National Museum of Fine Arts and on the banks of the Mapocho River, in addition to including chases through different streets of the capital. That was the last big challenge for everyone involved in bringing the project to life.

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Sayen: The Huntress (2024).

“Now that I look back, at the time this trilogy was commissioned It was hard to see that nine months was really going to be nine months.. It was a very demanding shoot, so we had to renew a significant part of the teams,” says Rocío Jadue, executive director of Spanish-speaking films at Fábula and executive producer of Sayen. “If I could improve something, it would be to anticipate the physical fatigue of the teams and be able to predict this better,” he says.

“I don’t know if it was noticed – I hope not – but I think that in general the project tried to be just a big movie, of course in different locations. It was about showing a problem that was contingent on what was being experienced not only in Chile, but also in all the countries located in the south,” Jadue highlights.

In the face of fatigue, there was always the possibility of changing the professionals who made up the different areas. However, that logic was not viable with Rallen Montenegrothe actress who played the protagonist in all three films.

“The nine months of filming had an impact on the body and understanding the times of action. I think I evolved a lot and, within the logic of the action, the third film evolved a lot. There are many hours of flight that accumulate in the way of resolving the scenes, it was a good learning experience as an actress. Maybe Sayen never came out with a tougher profile, but it is the strength of the heroine that she faces a great enemy,” she indicates.

“Maybe at the moment one is more tormented than happy, but if you went back in time and If they selected me for the casting again, I would say yes again.”says Montenegro, along with dedicating a few words to the outcome of his character. “We made a closure so that Sayen could live in peace. I imagine that she gave back to her community to live in peace.”

For her part, Rocío Jadue deepens her appetite to continue exercising the muscle of action in new productions, a genre in which Fábula had not ventured since the two seasons of Escapees. “Happy I would make another action movie. I would take everything I learned and make a breakdown of what we did right and what we did wrong. The idea is to continue creating Latin American and Chilean content for the whole world and that transcends language barriers.”

 
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