The path of the ‘Game of Thrones’ director with Argentine roots
Miguel Sapochnik is responsible for several of the best episodes of the HBO series.
"The long night," the third episode of the epic Sci-Fi series "Game of Thrones" (HBO), was a record-breaker with more than 17.8 million viewers total, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
You can see online dozens of videos where fans react to the final scene of the episode [SPOILER], where the Night King and his army are defeated.
The celebration of viewers in bars and in their houses can only be compared to a World Cup finale, with a prize that the director of the episode, a British-born with Argentinians roots, would surely take home.
His name is Miguel Vicente Rosenberg-Sapochnik - Miguel Sapochnik - and he is one of the most important television directors of the moment.
He was born in 1974, in Hammersmith, London, five years after his parents - a graphic designer and a psychologist - left their home country running away from the military dictatorship of Juan Carlos Onganía in Argentina.
Because of fate (and human stupidity), both countries went to war eight years after his birth.
In an interview with Variety, Miguel said that he suffered bullying from his classmates during the war, being frequently attacked for his Argentine origin.
It didn’t help either his parents’ explanation: the Malvinas War was an excuse for both countries to distract its people from real internal problems.
"It was so painful to feel that I knew what was really happening, but nobody believed me," the filmmaker said about that moment in his life.
Luckily, the war soon ended.
His cinematographic vocation came in at the age of 11, after he watched the Sci-Fi film "Dune" (David Lynch, 1984), in The Empire Theater in Leicester Square (London).
Miguel had a steady goal for many years: to release his first movie, in that very theater, at age 24. Eventually, his dream didn’t come true.
Actually, Miguel saw how dozens of projects he was involved in fell apart for many years, both in the United States and the United Kingdom, one after another.
But in 2010 his luck changed.
Working on it since 2003, "Repo Men" was his first and, so far, only movie: the Sci-Fi story, based on the book "The Repossession Mambo" by the Latino writer Eric Garcia, and starred by Jude Law.
Miguel made a nod to his roots in the story, causing the main character to flee to Punta del Este (Uruguay) and open a bank account in Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, the film was not well received either by critics or the public.
He then planned to do the same thing with another Sci-Fi film: "Rainey the Assassin," which would be an independent bilingual drama about an Argentine psychiatrist who is obsessed with avenging the murder of a relative by a British soldier in Malvinas. But this project never came to fruition.
As a director, his path was on Sci-Fi genre, but his success would be on television.
Since 2011, Miguel has directed episodes of TV shows such as "Dr. House," "Fringe," "Awake," "True Detective," "Altered Carbon," "Iron Fist" and, of course, "Game of Thrones."
It was the latest that allowed him to show his talent to the world. He has directed six episodes for this show so far, three of which ranked best among fans in IMDB, including "Battle of the Bastards," which earned him an Emmy Award for Best Direction in a dramatic series in 2016.
His second movie!
Under the title BIOS, the story is set in a post-apocalyptic land where a robot, built to protect its creator's pet, learns about life, love, friendship, and what it means to be human.
Starred by Tom Hanks, the movie is currently being shot and will be released in 2020.
Because yes, you can make Sci-Fi and social criticism at the same time.
"Sci-fi works for me as a way of getting across a social conceit couched as entertainment, Social realist movies lost their way because they are just not that entertaining," concludes Miguel.
So be it, Miguel!