An image of people standing by a plane wreck in a snowy expanse.


J.A. Bayona returns to Spanish-language filmmaking with a film about the survivors of the Flight 571 crash.

24 July 20233 min read

Celebrated Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona’s upcoming Society of the Snow tells the incredible true story of a devastating plane crash that left survivors stranded in the heart of the Andes Mountains for months. Based on Pablo Vierci’s nonfiction book La sociedad de la nieve, Bayona (The Impossible,The Orphanage, A Monster Calls) co-wrote the script with Bernat Vilaplana, Jaime Marques, and Nicolás Casariego, together bringing the tragic account of the survivors to the screen. Society of the Snow will make its world premiere out of the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 9th, 2023.

The film takes place in 1972: Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 has crashed into a glacier at an altitude of 11,710 feet while en route to Chile. Thirty-three of the 45 passengers — members of a rugby team and their friends and family —survive the initial crash and must resort to extreme actions to stay alive. The real-life disaster saw 16 survivors make it out of the Andes, 72 days after their flight crashed. Vierci interviewed the survivors for his book, and Bayona similarly spent over 100 hours speaking and consulting with them prior to embarking on the film.

Society of the Snow represents a return to Spanish-language filmmaking for Bayona, coming 16 years after his last film in his native tongue, the gothic horror The Orphanage, opened at the Cannes Film Festival to a 10-minute standing ovation. The Goya Award-winning director, along with his cast and crew, deliver a profound, unsettling film that honors the triumph of the human spirit as well as the stories of those whose lives were lost and those whose lives were forever changed by the crash of Flight 571.