2020 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE MOLE AGENT

THE MOLE AGENT | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alvaro Reyes

Maite Alberdi follows an 83-year-old undercover spy in a Chilean retirement home.

Festival Section:
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.

Some Background:


  • Maite Alberdi

    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.


  • Marcela Santibañez

    Santibañez is a Chilean producer who previously worked with Alberdi to manage the Goya Awards campaign for her acclaimed second doc feature, TEA TIME.


  • Ingmar Trost

    Emmy-winning Trost, from Cologne’s Sutor Kolonko, previously associate produced 2016 Sundance alumni fiction feature MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

  • Fleur Knopperts

    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.

  • Denis Vaslin
    Past Sundance docs:

    DOUBLE TAKE (2010)

    Volya Films CEO Vaslin also executive produced THE GROWN-UPS.

  • Marisa Fernandez Armenteros

    This is the first Sundance production for Fernandez Armenteros, from Spain’s Mediapro.

  • María del Puy Alvarado

    The Oscar-nominated del Puy Alvarado is CEO of Spain’s Malvalanda. This also marks her first Sundance credit.

Executive Producers:

  • Motto Pictures’ Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, & Carolyn Hepburn
    Combined recent past Sundance docs:

    THE CLEANERS (2018)
    WEINER (2016)
    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.


  • Carolina Siraqyan

    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.

More Info:
Sundance’s Meet the Artist Profile

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.