Social drama meets horror in film that tackles controversial subject of abortion.

Chilean director Francesc Morales is currently shooting his second feature Apio Verde, a psychological thriller.

The movie is about consequences of Chile being one of the ten countries in the world where therapeutic abortion is illegal — the director says the story “starts as a social drama and ends as a horror film.”

Catherine Mazoyer stars in the story of a young woman waiting to give birth to a son with a terminal disease. The cast also features Cristian Gajardo, Catalina Aguayo, Andres Gomez, Teresita Reyes, Carolina Paulsen, Sonia Mena, Ramon Llao, Jenny Cavallo, Pamela Leiva, Inigo Urrutia and Gregory Cohen.

The shoot, on location in Santiago and Valparaiso, will wrap in mid-December. The team aims to have the film showing at festivals in 2012 and a rough cut is being introduced at Ventana Sur this week.

Morales, the film’s director and screenwriter said: “This is very real real situation that has happened many times on our country. Since 1989, a few months before the end of the Chilean dictatorship, it was stated that therapeutic abortion would be considered illegal, not even when the life of the mother is in danger. The realism is very important on this film which is why the story is based on lives of many real people and it also shows how politics and religion get involved on a subject like this. Yet the movie is not a drama, but a thriller that states how this is not only an attempt to the human rights but also a situation that always leads to a violent resolution.”

Morales first feature was Humanimal.