Lock Charmer (El cerrajero)

Director: Natalia Smirnoff
Screenwriters: Natalia Smirnoff

Institute History

  • 2014 Sundance Film Festival


Sebastian, a locksmith who doesn’t believe in committed relationships, learns from his recent girlfriend, Monica, that she’s pregnant and he might be the father. At the same time, he discovers a strange power: when he fixes people's locks, he gets a vision into their lives—a sudden flash revealing their feelings. But this unwanted gift starts to complicate his life. After he warns a maid named Daisy that her boyfriend is trouble, she leaves the boyfriend, and Sebastian takes her in. When yet another vision sheds light on his own life, Sebastian is forced to examine his hang-ups, his family, and his relationship with Monica.

Set over the course of three weeks in Buenos Aires, a time when a smoky haze blankets the city, Lock Charmer (El cerrajero) puts its trust in simplicity and naturalism. With a sensibility that echoes her first film, Puzzles, Natalia Smirnoff is drawn to characters who are blown just slightly off course—their natural rhythm rattled. But with restrained direction, a dash of magical realism, and an affectionate sense of humor, Smirnoff steers them down a subtle path of soul searching, knowing the key is in their hands.

— J.N.

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]