2 brothers, directors from Peru, open at Cannes
Thursday, 20 May 2010

The Vega brothers are living a dream.

Young Peruvian directors Daniel and Diego Vega's first feature film, "Octubre," garnered enthusiastic applause at the Cannes Film Festival, where the movie screened before a packed audience.

"It's like winning the lottery, literally," said 36-year-old Daniel Vega, who co-wrote and co-directed the movie with his 35-year-old brother, Diego.

"Diego didn't believe we had any chance of being in Cannes and I only slightly believed it," Daniel Vega said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We were pretty depressed before we heard from the festival, which has changed our lives. We went from having a movie that will probably open (in Peru) at the end of the year but didn't have a great outlook to presenting it in the world's most important festival, which is really gratifying."

Because their inclusion in the French Riviera cinema showcase came as such a surprise to the pair, the audience's warm reaction to the film - which played Thursday out of competition - was even more gratifying.

"People's affection was amazing. They were telling us 'thanks so much for making movies,'" said Daniel Vega.

"Octubre" is the story of Clemente, a middle-aged loan shark and confirmed bachelor who suddenly finds himself saddled with an infant - apparently his - left on his doorstep by a prostitute he had frequented. The movie, which is set in lower-class neighborhoods of Lima, chronicles the changes the baby's undesired arrival causes in his solitary existence.

It's a simple and touching story, rife with bittersweet humor.

Though the main characters are all professional actors - mostly working in the theater - the Vega brothers cast friends and acquaintances in the bit parts. Their mom puts in a cameo appearance, they said.

Made on a shoestring budget of about $250,000 - raised mostly from foundations in Europe and the U.S. and even from loans from friends - "Octubre" was seven years in the making, the Vega brothers said.

The movie is expected to open in Peru at the end of the year, though no date has yet been finalized. In the meanwhile, the brothers are already thinking about their next project - which they say they will again write and direct together.

Neither would want to do it alone.

"We have always had the same friends and when we party, it's always together, we've always gotten along and we love each other a lot," said Daniel Vega.




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