• D’A – Barcelona Film Festival

  • Mar del Plata Int'l Film Festival

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Spanish with English subtitles

With Juan Barberini, Julián Infantino, Malena Villa

A riveting film that exposes the delicate situations that take place on a set during intimate scenes, Rompiente was shot before the #MeToo movement. Manipulation, harassment, and invasion of privacy are only some of the issues a pair of young and inexperienced actors go through during their first day of shooting.

Juan, the director, tries to shoot a sex scene with Malena and Julián. He also keeps the camera running between takes, attempting to capture brief moments of intimacy, but hours go by and the scene doesn’t seem to come out right. Weariness, repetition, and communication problems pile up as Juan tries to convince the actress to show more of her body. Violence will emerge as the shooting crumbles.

Shot in real-time with a low budget and mostly improvised scenes, Rompiente emerges from the director Juan Schnitman, and his crew’s interest in exploring this subject together.

About the Director
Juan Schnitman was born in 1980 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After graduating from the Universidad del Cine, he co-directed, along with Santiago Mitre, Alejandro Fadel, and Martín Mauregui, Love (Part One) (2005), a film that premiered at the Venice Critics’ Week. The Fire (2015), his solo film debut, had its world premiere at the Berlinale and won the Critics’ Award at the D’A. With Rompiente (2020) he has continued to explore the murkier aspects of affective and sexual relationships.
Notes on Film

“​I like to think about this film as a The Ramones song: short, fast, and urgent. ​It all started in early 2017, in those days I had endless conversations with friends actors, and actresses about sex and intimacy in film. I would hear about strange situations in shootings that were never more than rumors: from awkward moments when shooting sex scenes to abusive directors. The MeToo movement hadn’t broken out in the US yet, nobody spoke about these issues that we all knew were happening. I took this idea to producer friends and a month later we were shooting. It was going to be a one-day shoot and the total budget was around $6,000, including wages and post-production.

There weren’t any rehearsals, but we had a long meeting with Malena, Julián, and Juan to define the characters and the storylines for each character. Although some lines were fixed, all dialogue would be improvised on the spot. I thought the three of them were fascinating actors and I had total confidence that they would be accurate and effective. But I didn’t imagine they would be great.

Explaining to the crew what was about to happen wasn’t easy: after I called action every crew member became also an actor and had to approach Juan Barberini as if he was the director. Any questions about framing, lighting, or wardrobe had to be addressed to him. I would hide behind the camera with a hand-held monitor and whisper to Juan and Soledad (the DP) during the takes, directing “live” from the shadows. I tried to be aware of my surroundings, managing the timing of the scenes and the intensity of the situations. The shots were so long that we ended up exhausted, craving to laugh and just be ourselves for a few minutes, before diving back into this tense and uncomfortable fiction. All of this might look like a recipe for disaster. But no, that day the planets aligned and we shot ​Rompiente​.”

– Juan Schnitman, Director