Mother Lode is an archetypal fairytale where reality blends with magic, dream collides and melts with the material world and the myth of richness is built on sacrifice. Without superiority, pity or judgment, director Matteo Tortone, makes us all enter a hellish world where now and then miners mysteriously disappear, since gold belongs to the Devil.
Nominated for Editing
Nominated for Directing
Nominated for Sound
Nominated for Cinematography
Original Title: Mother Lode Director: Matteo Tortone Country: France, Italy & Swiss Year: 2021 Duration: 86 min Producer: Nadègé Labé

SPECIAL SCREENING: 14th of October (8:45 PM). Conversation with eminent cinematographer Patrick Tresch (Switzerland). He is one out of the four film makers nominated for the MIRAGE award for best cinematography.

SPECIAL SCREENING: 15th of October (5 PM). Conversation BEFORE the film (40 min) with Thomas Tsiftelis (Greece) and Patrick Tresch (Switzerland), both nominated for the MIRAGE Cinematography Award

Jorge leaves his moto-taxi business in the suburbs of Lima and his family to seek fortune as a miner, reaching the highest and most dangerous Andean goldmine in Peru.Lost under a glacier in the mountains, La Rinconada is “the closest city to the sky”. It attracts thousands of seasonal workers like Jorge, seeking a lucky strike and a better life.Here starts a journey full of presages, where reality blends with magic, where the myth of richness is built over a sacrifice: every now and then, miners mysteriously disappear, since gold belongs to the Devil, El Tio de la Mina requires sacrifices.

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Matteo Tortone's impressive first solo feature brings extreme care to the imagery and tone and positions himself among the top talents of the exciting Italian documentary/hybrid cinema scene, along with former MIRAGE friends like Yuri Ancarani and Michele Pennetta.

Matteo Tortone (1982, Italy) is an author, producer and d.o.p. He won the jury prize at Kazan Film Festival (White Men, 2011), the best cinematography at Krakow Film Festival (Rada, 2014). He won the Eurimages Lab Award [Agora WIP TIFF2019] with Mother Lode.He is a co-funder of Malfé Film.

"As soon as I knew that the story would be set in Peru, I wanted to limit the exotic vision we normally have of the country"

In 2010, I spent three days in Tanzania and did some shooting in a mine. I was confronted with the economic dynamics involved and their financial repercussions on Europe. I was interested in looking into it more deeply, to show the consequences it has on humans. Gold gives a certain value to a human's life, and I felt there was a metaphysical dimension to it. There are a lot of stories linked to gold – tales about how to get rich quickly, or about superstition. I searched for years to find a story and a place that would be suitable to enable me to talk about it. When I heard about La Rinconada, I was fascinated by its landscape, which brings to mind that of the Moon. It’s a place at the edge of the world, and on an aesthetic level, it was just perfect for expressing the link between the present and eternity.