by Malena SZLAM
2018 / 35mm / color / sound / 1S / 15' 30

« Malena Szlam’s ALTIPLANO ranks among the most striking landscape films of recent years and, indeed, calls for a revision of how we talk about landscape in cinema. »
— Dan Sullivan, Film Comment

« ALTIPLANO has proven to be one of the most iconic works of 2018. A film of intricate craftsmanship casting a spell that immerses us in a landscape of historical, ecological and political value and resonance. In the Altiplano region, the Atacama Desert once at the end of the Inca Trail testifies to a lost yet vibrant age. The remains of this hallucinatory landscape catalyze the history of an America that has disappeared or is about to disappear. The author creates a unique aesthetic proposition that reinvents the representation of the landscape, transforming it into a psychedelic, revelatory and mystical presence, moving the viewer to encounter enigmas of time and memory. »
— Laura Huertas, Eve Heller, Rocío Mesa

Filmed in the Andean Mountains in the traditional lands of the Atacameño, Aymara, and Calchaquí-Diaguita in Northern Chile and Northwest Argentina, ALTIPLANO takes place within a geological universe of ancestral salt flats, volcanic deserts, and coloured lakes. Fusing earth with sky, day with night, heartbeat with mountain, and mineral with iridescent cloud, ALTIPLANO reveals a vibrating landscape in which a bright blue sun forever threatens to eclipse a blood-red moon.

Coupled with a soundscape generated from infrasound recordings of volcanoes, geysers, Chilean blue whales, and more, ALTIPLANO creates evocative visual rhythms through the clash of color and form. Landscapes pulse and stutter, transmuting into spaces that exist in a multitude of times simultaneously. Located at the heart of a natural ecosystem threatened by a century of saltpeter and nitrate mining practices, and recent geothermic exploitation, ALTIPLANO reveals an ancient land standing witness to all that is, was, and will be.

Image and Edit: Malena Szlam
Sound Design & Mix: James Benjamin, Mamo Koba, Malena Szlam
Sound Recording: Carlos Arias, James Benjamin, Susannah Buchan, Jacob Kirkegaard, Clive Oppenheimer, Ben Russell
Color Grading: Marc Boucrot
Film Lab: Colorlab
Producers: Oona Mosna, Malena Szlam

TIFF’s Top Ten Canadian Short Films 2018
Melbourne International Film Festival, Best Experimental Short Film
25 FPS, Grand Jury Grand Prix


distribution format 35mm
screen 1,37 - Standard (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound optical sound
rental fee 136,00 €