Sebastián Silva (director)

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Sebastián Silva
Sebastián Silva, 2008.jpg
Sebastián Silva in 2008
Sebastián Silva Irarrázabal

(1979-04-09) April 9, 1979 (age 41)
  • Filmmaker
  • musician
  • artist
  • actor
Years active2006–present

Sebastián Silva Irarrázabal (born 9 April 1979) is a Chilean director, actor, screenwriter, painter and musician.

Early years[edit]

The second of seven brothers, Sebastián Silva was born in Santiago, Chile on 9 April 1979. After graduating from the Catholic Colegio del Verbo Divino school in Santiago, he spent a year studying filmmaking at the Escuela de Cine de Chile (“Film School of Chile” in Spanish) before leaving to study animation in Montreal, Canada. Here, he mounted the first gallery exhibition of his illustrations and started the band CHC,[1] which went on to record three albums[2]

Silva's second illustration show brought him in contact with Hollywood but a “frustrating period”[1] in Los Angeles, spent pitching to Steven Spielberg and others, brought no tangible results. Leaving Hollywood, Silva started two more bands, Yaia [3] and Los Mono,[4] the latter of which was signed by British record label Sonic360. He exhibited his art in New York City while writing the script for what would become his first feature, La Vida Me Mata (“Life Kills Me” in Spanish; written with Pedro Peirano).


From first films to Sundance[edit]

Back in Chile, Silva recorded a solo album, Iwannawin & Friends [5] and directed his debut feature, La Vida Me Mata. Released in 2007 by Chilean production company Fabula,[6] La Vida Me Mata went on to win Best Film at the Chilean Pedro Sienna Awards in 2008.[7]

In February 2008, setting aside a script based on his trip to Hollywood, Silva wrote (with Pedro Peirano) and directed his next film: The Maid. The film, released in 2009, told the story of a maid trying to keep her job after having served a family for 23 years. It has won multiple awards, including the Grand Jury Prize - World Cinema Dramatic at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Golden Globes Awards [8] and the 2010 NAACP Image Awards. Film critic David Parkinson called the film "an exceptional study of the emotional investment that domestics make in the families they serve." [9]

International recognition[edit]

Silva partnered with Pedro Peirano again to write his next film, Old Cats, which premiered in 2010 at the Valdivia International Film Festival in Chile and at the New York Film Festival in the United States. He then made his TV debut in 2012 when he wrote, directed and produced the HBO short-form TV comedy show The Boring Life of Jacqueline.[10]

The success of The Maid took Silva to Sundance again in 2013 to premiere two new films, Magic Magic and Crystal Fairy, both starring indie actor Michael Cera. Silva won the Sundance Directing Award: World Cinema - Dramatic [11] for Crystal Fairy and the LA Times described Magic Magic as “an exploration of insanity, selfishness and emotional brutality.” Silva told the LA Times that Cera's character in Magic Magic is "one of my favorite characters I've created in a movie." [12]

Personal life[edit]

Silva is openly gay and has spoken about the difficulties he experienced growing up at school: “I did suffer. I went to a private school, a very tough school ruled by men only, and the law of the jungle. I remember having feminine impulses and just suppressing them. To survive, I guess.”[13]


Director and screenplay[edit]



CHC (Congregación de Hermanos Contemplativos)[edit]

  • Bastante real (2003)
  • What it is es lo que es (2004)
  • La cosa (2007)

With Yaia[edit]

  • Goor modning (2004)[14]

With Los Mono[edit]

  • Somos los que estamos (2007)[15]


  • Iwannawin & Friends (2005)[16]




  1. ^ a b Official biography,, Elephant Films. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  2. ^ CHC Archived 2013-02-19 at Oveja Negra record label. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  3. ^ Yaia Archived 2011-01-08 at the Wayback Machine Guillermo Tupper, Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  4. ^ Mono Marisol García, Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  5. ^ Iwannawin Archived 2014-05-01 at the Wayback Machine Guillermo Tupper, Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  6. ^ La Vida Me Mata Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  7. ^ "La vida me mata" gana el máximo galardón en los premios Pedro Sienna El Mercurio Online. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  8. ^ 'La nana logró una histórica nominación para los Globos de Oro, Radio Cooperativa Online, 15 December 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  9. ^ Radio Times, 29 September-5 October 2012, p.42
  10. ^ The Boring Life of Jacqueline HBO Official Website. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  11. ^ a b Sundance 2013 Festival Awards Announced Hollywood Reporter, 26 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  12. ^ Sundance 2013: ‘Magic Magic’, with Michael Cera, casts a dark spell Mark Olsen, LA Times, 27 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  13. ^ Viveros-Fauné, Christian (Spring 2011). "Sebastián Silva". BOMB Magazine. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  14. ^ Yaia Archived 2011-01-08 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  15. ^ Los Mono Archived 2014-09-06 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  16. ^ Iwannawin Archived 2014-05-01 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Película chilena "La Nana" ganó en el Festival de Sundance". La Nación. 25 January 2009. Archived from the original on 29 January 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  18. ^ Sebastián Silva en el portal de los premios Altazor Archived 2015-02-16 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 28 January 2013

External links[edit]