Maite Alberdi follows an 83-year-old undercover spy in a Chilean retirement home.
World Cinema Documentary Competition
Sundance Program Description:
Sergio is a Chilean spy. Sort of. At least, he is offered the role of one after a casting session organized by Detective Romulo, a private investigator who needs a credible mole to infiltrate a retirement home. Romulo’s client, the concerned daughter of a resident, suspects her mother is being abused and hires him to find out what is really happening.
However, Sergio is 83, not 007, and not an easy trainee when it comes to technology and spying techniques. But he is a keen student, looking for ways to distract himself after recently losing his wife. What could be a better distraction than some undercover spy action? While gathering intelligence, Sergio grows close to several residents and realizes that the menacing truth beneath the surface is not what anyone had suspected.
Maite Alberdi’s THE MOLE AGENT is a stylish combination of an observational documentary and a spy movie, with sleek camerawork and wonderfully watchable characters. It’s a unique meditation on compassion and loneliness that will infiltrate your heart and never let go.
Alberdi’s fourth documentary feature, her first at Sundance, received support from the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Fund. Her previous projects have screened at scores of notable festivals, including IDFA, Hot Docs, True/False, and Sheffield, as well as on POV.
Santibañez is a Chilean producer who previously worked with Alberdi to manage the Goya Awards campaign for her acclaimed second doc feature, TEA TIME.
Emmy-winning Trost, from Cologne’s Sutor Kolonko, previously associate produced 2016 Sundance alumni fiction feature MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
Knopperts produces through Rotterdam’s Volya Films. She previously executive produced Alberdi’s third feature, THE GROWN-UPS, and is the former director of IDFA’s Forum.
Past Sundance docs:
DOUBLE TAKE (2010)
Volya Films CEO Vaslin also executive produced THE GROWN-UPS.
This is the first Sundance production for Fernandez Armenteros, from Spain’s Mediapro.
The Oscar-nominated del Puy Alvarado is CEO of Spain’s Malvalanda. This also marks her first Sundance credit.
Combined recent past Sundance docs:
ONE CHILD NATION (2019)
INVENTING TOMORROW (2018)
THE CLEANERS (2018)
LIFE, ANIMATED (2016)
The prolific doc producers behind Brooklyn’s Motto Pictures are two-time Oscar nominees and Emmy Award winners. They also executive produced fellow 2020 Sundance doc feature A THOUSAND CUTS, in the US Documentary Competition.
This is the first Sundance credit for Siraqyan.
Why You Should Watch:
Alberdi’s body of work has been distinguished by a sensitive observational approach and charming subjects, and her latest is no different. While Sergio goes about his mission, the filmmaker concisely captures the environment of the home – indelible experiential moments with residents, interacting with one another or during scheduled activities, tinged with a sense of the bittersweet.
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