The Dreams of the Castle, a dreamlike documentary film set in a juvenile prison in the middle of the Mapuche countryside in southern Chile, explores the relationship between the teenagers’ lives, crimes and nightmares, and the influence of the land on their dreams.
Born in Chile in 1975, René Ballesteros worked as a psychologist with street children and in prisons for teenagers before studying cinema in Paris and Cuba.
The Burn (“La Quemadura"), his first documentary feature film, won the Joris Ivens Award (Cinéma du Réel), the Best Documentary Award (Documenta Madrid) and the Prize for Best Chilean Director (SanFic) in 2010.
In 2012, René Ballesteros participated in the 23rd session of the Cinéfondation Residency at the Cannes Film Festival.
As a screenwriter, he co-wrote Oblivion Verses ("Los versos del olvido") by Alireza Khatami, which received the best screenplay prize in the Orizzonti section at Venice in 2017.
The Dreams of the Castle, his 2nd documentary, received the Prize for Best Chilean Feature Film in 2018 at the Valdivia International Film Festival (Chile).
René Ballesteros received support from the Institut français as a recipient of a Louis Lumière Hors les Murs Residency in 2014, for his project The Dreams of the Castle.
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