Bayona is shooting “La Sociedad de la Nieve”, his next film, in Sierra Nevada

The produced-by-Netflix movie will recreate the well known plane crash that a Uruguayan rugby team suffered in the Andes in 1972.


Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona (Barcelona, 1975) announced this Monday the upcoming shooting for his new film, «La Sociedad de la Nieve» (The Snow Society), a movie produced by Netflix about the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 plane crash. The accident, which happened 49 years ago, involved a rugby team from Montevideo, and occured because of a crash against a glacier in the heart of the Andes. Only 16 of its 45 passengers survived.

The film shooting will take place in Sierra Nevada, Montevideo (Uruguay) and in different locations from the Andes (both in Chile and Argentina), including El Valle de las Lágrimas (Vale of Tears), the actual location where the story happened.

The Vale of Tears location has been confirmed by Bayona (also director of The Impossible and The Orphanage) in a video recorded in the accident place. “We are here with the aim of starting a film where we will try to honor the memory of the 16 survivors, and especially of the 29 who could not return. We hope to do our best, we will surely try, and honor the memory of all of them”, said the filmmaker.

In 1972 Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 in charge of taking a rugby team to Chile crashed on a glacier in the heart of the Andes. Only 16 of its 45 passengers survived the accident, amd they were trapped in one of the most inaccessible and hostile environments on the planet, forced to draw on extreme actions to stay alive, such as eating human flesh from the deceased.

The film is based on the homonym book “La Sociedad de la Nieve” by Pablo Vierci, which the filmmaker came across during the documentation process for The Impossible, another film of his that is based on the true and tragic story of the Spanish doctor María Belón in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

In a press release issued by Netflix, the movie director said: «More than ten years after reading it, my fascination for that novel remains intact and I am truly happy to face the challenge that lies ahead: to tell one of the most remembered events of the 20th century, taking care of all the complexity involved in a story that gives so much relevance to the survivors as well as to those who never returned from the mountain”.

Furthermore, the director added: “I’m going to do it in Spanish, my language. I am happily using it again after 14 years filming in other languages, and I will moreover work with a team of young Uruguayan and Argentine actors with whom I am so enthusiastic for”.

The cast is led by Enzo Vogrincic Roldán, Matías Recalt, Agustín Pardella, Tomas Wolf, Diego Ariel Vegezzi, Esteban Kukuriczka, Francisco Romero, Rafael Federman, Felipe González Otaño, Agustín Della Corte, Valentino Alonso, Simón Hempe, Fernando Contigiani García, Benjamin Segura and Jerónimo Bosia

Director Juan Antonio Bayona with his DOP, Pedro Luque, in the Vale of Tears of the Andes. Photo: Netflix