Close this search box.


It has started with a bang. The HSBC Spanish Film Festival launched with THE MOVIE TELLER (La Contadora de Peliculas) and what better way to begin a film festival than with a film that adores and celebrates cinema.

THE MOVIE TELLER is a moving tribute to cinema and the magical power of storytelling, from multi award-winning director Lone Scherfig.

THE MOVIE TELLER follows a young woman’s coming-of-age in the rugged heart of Chile’s Atacama Desert during the 1960s. Medardo and María lead a simple life with their children, finding joy in the weekly visits to the cinema.

Medardo is fixated on the letter M – maybe it’s why he married Maria Magnolia and named his only daughter Maria Margarita. He’s certainly a fan of Marilyn Monroe and delights in the fact that John Wayne’s real name is Marion Morrison.

The initial M does not dissuade him from being a big fan of Kirk Douglas and in an uncanny irony, after attending a screening of Paths of Glory, Merdardo suffers an explosive injury, disrupting his ability to attend or finance his family’s frequent visit to the flicks.

Each of the sons, all of whose names begin with M, are sent in turn to the cinema to watch the latest release and then come and retell the story to the family. Each in turn fails their auditions. Last chance is Maria Margarita who proves an expert in re-enactment.

With each retelling, she breathes life into the magic of film, attracting and captivating the townsfolk with tales of drama, humour, and romance. As her storytelling prowess grows, life itself develops its own dramas, culminating in the overthrow of the democratically elected Allende and the rise of the dictator, Pinochet.

An adaptation of the award-winning autobiographical novel by Hernán Rivera Letelier, Scherfig’s beguiling film, arguably her best since An Education, celebrates imagination and the need to find love, community, and hope faced with the horrors of social and political upheaval.

Visit the Festival website






Subscribe to our Bi-Weekly Newstetter

Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to receive updates and stay informed about art and cultural events around Sydney. – it’s free!

Want More?

Get exclusive access to free giveaways and double passes to cinema and theatre events across Sydney. 

Scroll to Top