The winner of two awards at the 2018 Berlinale including the Silver Bear for Best Actress, Marcelo Martinessi’s debut drama is a piercing look into the lives of the wealthy through the tribulations of a hesitant woman in quiet crisis.

Las herederas
Director: Marcelo Martinessi
Cast: Ana Brun, Margarita Irún, Ana Ivanova, Nilda Gonzalez, María Martins, Alicia Guerra, Yverá Zayas
Duration: 98 mins
Country of Origin: Paraguay

MMature themes, sexual references and coarse language

Subscribe to our mailing list for
updates & screening invitations

The Heiresses

“Superb. Full of gentle wit and playful observations. The acting throughout is strong, and Brun is terrific. It’s a performance of tragicomic genius.”

“Excellent. A secret love story set among the complacent wealthy gerontocracy of Asunción.”
Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

“Exquisite. Finely-crafted and beautifully realised.”
Jay Weissberg, VARIETY

“Richly textured. A subtle, powerful exploration of the changing nature of class, repression and desire in modern Paraguay featuring a stunning central performance from Ana Brun. Martinessi allows the performances to shine and reminds us, joyously, that the female over-50 experience means a great deal more than baking and book clubs.”
Nikki Baughan, THE LIST

“Intimate. A quiet drama that builds emotional involvement by infinitesimal degrees through its acute observation of characters and social context and its ultra-naturalistic performances.

WINNER – 2018 SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL – Sydney Film Prize for Best Film In Competition
WINNER – 2018 BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – Best Actress (Ana Brun) & Alfred Bauer Prize

Winner of the Berlinale Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for opening new perspectives and the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Ana Brun, writer/director Marcelo Martinessi’s debut drama THE HEIRESSES is a piercing and emotionally compelling look into the lives of the wealthy through the tribulations of a hesitant woman in quiet crisis.

Asunción, Paraguay, 2013. Sixty-somethings Chela (Ana Brun, superb in her debut performance) and Chiquita (Margarita Irún), both descendants of wealthy families, have been living together for more than thirty years. Times have changed though, and with debts mounting, the couple begins to sell-off some precious heirlooms to stay afloat. But the financial situation proves untenable, and convicted of fraud, Chiquita is sent to prison by a court order.

Suddenly, the sheltered Chela must fend for herself. Swallowing her pride, she reluctantly begins working as a chauffeur for the wealthy women of the neighbourhood. The changed circumstances lead her to, perhaps for the first time, contemplate her life and the choices she’s made…

Subtle, perfectly modulated and impeccably performed, Martinessi exquisitely balances character study with shrewd commentary on class, desire and privilege to tell an intimate and serenely rewarding story of loss, loyalty and self-determination.

(video) “Paraguay’s Oscar Hopeful On The Importance of Women & Love” – Deadline (28/11/18)

“Sydney Film Festival 2018: Tender portrait of quiet struggle takes out top gong” – Sydney Morning Herald (8/06/18)

“Love and debt in a time of change” – director Marcelo Martinessi with The Australian‘s Philippa Hawker (5/11/18)

Mr. Martinessi on the red carpet for the Australian Premiere at 2018 Sydney Film Festival.

The Heiresses