Bringing a distinctly Chilean flavor last month to Deadline’s big annual awards-season event The Contenders Presented by Deadline, screenwriter Guillermo Calderon discussed his and director Pablo Larrain’s approach to making a film that does justice to the life of  Chile’s legendary poet Pablo Neruda for the movie Neruda. As part of The Orchard’s presentation to a packed DGA theater audience of Oscar and key guild voters, Calderon joined Christine director Antonio Campos on the distribution company’s panel.


Calderon explained that Neruda, which was Chile’s official entry for the Oscar Foreign Language race as well as a current nominee for the Foreign Language Film Golden Globe, was never intended to be a traditional biopic and that the filmmaker’s idea was to explore the poet’s inner life when he was actually in hiding from authorities. It’s a tricky proposition that is brought off in intriguing and unexpected ways in a script Caleron said was initially 200 pages.

Check out our conversation above.