Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

The Apostate 2015

El apóstata

Directed by Federico Veiroj

A wry character study of a bored young Spaniard galvanised into action by the bureaucratic conundrums that confront him when he tries to have his baptism annulled from the records of the Catholic Church.

France/Spain/Uruguay In Spanish with English subtitles
80 minutes DCP
M (nudity and sex scenes)

Director

Producers

Guadalupe Balaguer Trelles
,
Fernando Franco
,
Federico Veiroj

Screenplay

Álvaro Ogalla
,
Gonzalo Delgado
,
Nicolás Saad
,
Federico Veiroj

Photography

Arauco Hernández Holz

Editor

Fernando Franco

Production designer

Gonzalo Delgado

With

Álvaro Ogalla (Gonzalo Tamayo)
,
Marta Larralde (Pilar)
,
Bárbara Lennie (Maite)
,
Vicky Peña (mother)
,
Juan Calot (Bishop Jorge)
,
Kaiet Rodríguez (Antonio)
,
Andrés Gertrudix (Carlos)

Festivals

Toronto
,
San Sebastián
,
London 2015; Rotterdam
,
New Directors/New Films
,
San Francisco 2016

Awards

FIPRESCI Prize
,
San Sebastián International Film Festival 2015

In this droll, elegantly realised comedy of Spanish slackerdom, Gonzalo, a charmingly feckless 30-something intellectual of negligible achievement, whiles away his days in indolent pleasures, not least fantasising about sex with his childhood sweetheart, who happens to be his cousin. Gonzalo’s other ambition is just as forward-looking: he wants to have his baptism annulled from the records of the Catholic Church. It was his parents’ doing, after all, and involuntary on his part. He becomes increasingly activated by the perverse pleasure he discovers in the Kafkaesque adventure of footing his way around the bureaucratic conundrums thrown in his path. Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj (A Useful Life, NZIFF10) characterises himself as a Jew from Montevideo making a film about a Catholic from Madrid. He takes to his film’s archaic setting with a fresh eye and revels in the arcane dogmatic theology of his protagonist’s nemesis. Handsome and dishevelled, Álvaro Ogalla as Gonzalo is both a friend of the filmmaker and, we’re told, a model for the character he’s playing. While the portrait of his niftily deferred identity crisis rings true, the warmth of affectionate satire is unmistakable.